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Altnets Global Reach Networks and Open Infra Plan UK FTTP Builds

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022 (12:09 pm) - Score 840
fibre optic cable bright

Two further alternative networks, Global Reach Networks and Open Infra, have today revealed that they plan to deploy their own gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP networks across different parts of the United Kingdom. But they’re arriving in a market that is already aggressively competitive with rival builds.

The plans came to light after both operators made a request for Code Powers from Ofcom (here and here), which are often adopted to help speed-up deployments of new fibre optic infrastructure and cut costs, not least by reducing the number of licenses needed for street works. It can also be used to facilitate access to run their own fibre via Openreach’s (BT) existing ducts and telegraph poles (PIA).

Firstly, Birmingham-based Open Infra is a fairly new company, at least in the UK. The operator is originally a Swedish provider that runs fibre networks in Sweden, Germany and the USA. At present we know very little about their plans for the UK, only that they aim to deploy the network at “selected locations” across the country, and it sounds like they intend to build an open access style wholesale FTTP network for any ISP to harness.

As for the Brighton-based Global Reach, they’ve been around in the UK market for a very long time (company details). The operator tends to work in the Brighton area, where it has several subnational points of presence, and London, where it operates a network across Telehouse sites. But they’re now moving into FTTP “with the intention to provide both wholesale and retail services nationwide“, albeit initially only across the Brighton and Sussex area. The focus will be on homes and commercial properties.

No doubt more information will become available as each operator develops their tentative plans, although they’ll be moving into a market where most of the low-hanging fruit is already being targeted by rival builds.

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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. Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    Every man and his dog seems to be getting in on the Altnet act, but I don’t see how many of them will reach critical mass required to survive long term; All I can think, is that they’re building to sell during a consolidation phase.
    Openreach are building at a rate of knots, at a price others can’t compete with, and their build is mainly financed by existing BT operations. Openreach also have scale, and a large wholesale base locked in with
    bulk discount offerings, like the recent Equinox offer. I don’t see a business case for small players building infrastructure, unless the plan is to sell the completed infrastructure, which is extremely risky within the emerging competitive landscape, imo.
    Once the infrastructure is built, you need enough customers to cover ongoing operations, like sales staff, Engineering operations, head end building, backhaul leasing, etc, etc. Without scale the majority of these new Altnets will go the way of smaller cable companies in the mid 90’s.

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