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Freedom Fibre Add 4 Towns to FTTP Broadband Rollout in England UPDATE

Thursday, December 2nd, 2021 (8:53 am) - Score 2,472
Freedom-Fibre-Engineer-by-Van

Alternative network operator Freedom Fibre, which recently received a funding boost from UK ISP TalkTalk (here) and is busy building a new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network to homes in semi-rural parts of North England, has just added four new towns across Merseyside, Cheshire and Greater Manchester to their plans.

The new network builder, which was first spotted earlier this year working with ISP partner TalkTalk to serve the large village of Culcheth (here and here), recently revealed that they expect to exit the year with £30m of capital following a second major equity injection. Since then, TalkTalk has taken a significant but minority stake in the provider and FF has also been spotted building across Croft, Glazebury and Winwick.

NOTE: Freedom Fibre’s (FF) network currently covers 7,500 homes with 300 connected and, by the end of 2021, they aim to achieve 10,000 premises passed with 1,000 connected (this is just initial take-up, which will grow over time).

So far much of the company’s initial focus has been on towns in the counties of Cheshire and Lancashire, but they’ve now added four more towns to that list, including Newton-le-Willow, Earlestown (Merseyside), Burtonwood (Cheshire) and Leigh (Greater Manchester).

Crucially, this isn’t a “fibre-to-the-press-release” style announcement, which means that the network build has already started in these areas, and the first of many local residents will be able to connect to their network from January 2022. The plan is for each location to be completed within around 10-12 months.

Tony Moore, Chief Delivery Director at Freedom Fibre, said:

“We are delighted to announce our latest rollout plan in the North West, we are working closely with the Council to ensure that we co-ordinate the network build activities in conjunction with other utility/infrastructure projects and feedback so far has been really positive.

We will be using OpenReach’s existing infrastructure where possible to reduce the time required for digging works, enabling fibre to be installed in some streets in a matter of hours rather than days but, most importantly, to reduce the disruption to residents as we roll out our new network.”

Councillor Terry Maguire, Earlestown, said:

“It is an important breakthrough in creating better connectivity for all areas. It’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off in the long-term; once the network’s built. Freedom Fibre is willing to engage with local residents to ensure they understand the benefits of this new technology and ensure residents feel they are informed.”

The operator, which employs over 50 staff, says they’ve already invested over £5m into their build and have plans within the North West to spend £30m by summer 2022, which will enable 50,000 homes to access their full-fibre connectivity. We’ve previously also seen them make reference to a second target of 100,000 premises by the end of 2022.

At present one of the main obstacles for consumers is that it’s difficult to find out what is actually being offered because you can’t easily uncover the package details unless you’re already covered by the network. Meanwhile, those who aren’t covered have to hand over their personal details to a registration system and agree to be contacted by TalkTalk, but even then they aren’t told what will be offered.

UPDATE 3rd Dec 2021

Quick correction. In the original article I incorrectly stated that Freedom Fibre had been acquired by TalkTalk, when in fact the latter has only taken a significant but minority stake in the business.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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1 Response
  1. Nicola Wilson says:

    Will Openreach also be putting full fibre in these areas too? At present this company are telling us that we have to connect to Talktalk. No other ISP providers are available. Have these just got the monopoly in this area? Seems very unfair if they have.

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