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Neos Networks to Boost UK Full Fibre Coverage in Several Areas

Tuesday, December 14th, 2021 (12:11 pm) - Score 1,320
Neos-networks-uk-map-Nov-2021

Neos Networks has today made two announcements on their UK fibre coverage, which will see them connect up 200+ public sector sites (councils, hospitals etc. – many in rural areas) in Oxfordshire and boost their full fibre, last mile, metro network expansion across the capital (London), Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester.

In the first announcement, the Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has just contracted Neos to work alongside Openreach, Virgin Media (Business) and Gigaclear in order to build a new full fibre gigabit capable broadband infrastructure to a range of public sector and local authority sites in the region.

The 20-year deal is being funded with a £5m investment from OCC and around £2m from the Government’s DCMS GigaHubs project (similar to the old Local Full Fibre Networks [LFFN] programme), part of Project Gigabit. The GigaHubs project provides a footprint of rural full fibre that aims to incentivise broadband ISPs to connect surrounding homes and businesses to faster speeds.

Neos will manage the implementation, with the first phase of the programme set to be delivered by March 2022. This marks the first majority council-funded project aimed at improving the service offering available at community centres and village halls, whilst also offering a more cost-effective connectivity solution for public sector sites.

Julia Lopez, Digital Infrastructure Minister, said:

“This huge government-funded deal for Oxfordshire will mean better public services that deliver more for communities and faster rollout of better broadband for surrounding homes and businesses. Upgrading schools, hospitals, libraries and other public buildings is just one way our £5 billion Project Gigabit scheme is levelling up the UK, with thousands of rural homes and businesses set to receive the fastest, most resilient connections available.

This is not just about fantastic internet speeds but about future-proofing homes and businesses for a world in which technology plays an increasingly important role, from healthcare and education to industrial application.”

Neos is said to have been awarded the contract following a competitive procurement process, due to its ability to aggregate and manage multiple broadband suppliers to deliver the best and most cost-effective solution to Oxfordshire County Council. In doing so, Neos will leverage existing infrastructure as well as delivering entirely new full fibre connectivity to the sites in scope.

New Metro Access Networks

The second announcement today reflects Neos’ advanced plans to invest in a full fibre, last mile, metro network expansion programme across the capital and three key regional UK cities (London, Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester). The work on this is already underway and their first access network is scheduled to go live in Liverpool at the start of next year.

The company’s ambitious Project Edge network expansion programme will also see two more regional Metro Access Networks serving businesses in Birmingham and Manchester go live from the middle of 2022, with the City of London intended to come on stream in February 2023. Project Edge has also recently unbundled 550 of BT’s exchanges (here), although they’ve already spoken of a plan to push this up to 700 by the end of 2022. Edge will also see the company reach a fibre footprint of more than 34,000km by the end of 2021.

Across the first three regional UK cities, the company said that its new access networks would bring fibre connectivity within the reach of almost 10,000 locally based businesses and regional offices. As for London, the new Access Network in the City of London will bring direct connections to the company’s high-speed, high capacity, full fibre national network to around 23,000 businesses right into the heart of the capital.

Sarah Mills, MD of Wholesale and Smart Infrastructure, said:

“Regionally based businesses and offices, of all sizes and across all sectors, need access to the highest available quality of connectivity if they are to keep pace with their national and international competitors.

The UK lags behind many of its European neighbours in terms of business fibre access,” she added, “but with Project Edge we aim to help UK businesses, starting in Liverpool, Birmingham and Manchester as well as those in the capital, to catch up and truly compete, not just on a level playing field, but on one tilted in their favour.”

Finally, the announcement notes that Jisc, the non-profit national body serving the UK’s higher and further education sector with digital skills and solutions, has already signed-up to take advantage of regional access to the high-speed national network as soon as it goes live.

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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. Randy says:

    Neos claimed their portal shows the cheapest prices for leased lines.

    It doesn’t.

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