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Connect Fibre Get Funding for Full Fibre Rollout in East England

Monday, February 14th, 2022 (3:22 pm) - Score 1,776
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Cambridgeshire-based UK ISP Connect Fibre (Fibre Assets Ltd.) has today secured a “significant” new investment from Foresight Group LLP, which will enable them to rollout a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to cover 100,000 premises across the East of England.

We first reported on this provider all the way back in 2019 (here). At the time they were aiming to build – using XGS-PON fibre kit from ADTRAN – a new open access (wholesale) full fibre network across parts of Cambridgeshire for other UK ISPs to harness and had already completed a related build to the small East Cambridgeshire village of Reach (via local ISP partner Air Broadband). But then the trail went cold, until now.

The operator has now secured an unspecified amount of funding from the Foresight Group and plan to use this in order to “accelerate the installation of a full fibre network across the East of England,” which aims to deliver broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps to over 100,000 homes and businesses “currently served by ageing copper infrastructure.”

Anouska Morjaria, Investment Manager at Foresight, said:

“We are looking forward to supporting Connect Fibre in its mission to revolutionise full fibre broadband connectivity across the UK. As evidenced by the pandemic, remote working and digital connectivity are essential for our modern lifestyles. Reliable, high-speed and accessible digital infrastructure forms an integral part of the UK’s National Infrastructure Strategy. The management team have extensive experience in this area, and we are impressed by their ambition and progress thus far.”

Stefan Stanislawski, CEO of Connect Fibre, added:

“We’re thrilled with the backing received from Foresight. Connect Fibre builds full fibre networks and delivers to our customers a high-quality service at an affordable and competitive price. We strongly believe in our regional strategy and that starts with levelling up our first villages and towns.”

Sadly the announcement doesn’t say much more than that, except to confirm what we already knew, that “Connect Fibre has already developed a full fibre network in the village of Reach“. Put another way, they don’t seem to have gone any further than what was first achieved all the way back in 2019. The operator’s current website also remains just as uninformative as it was back in 2019, at least for now.

The extra funding will no doubt kick-start some real progress, although any alternative network (AltNet) arriving this late in the game is bound to face an uphill struggle as the low-hanging fruit is quickly claimed. Indeed, in the current climate, they’ll probably end up overbuilding at least some rival FTTP providers too, although how much will depend upon their rollout plan.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. El Guapo says:

    Sorry but Cambridge is spoilt for choice. OR fibre, City Fibre, Vodafone gigafast. Meanwhile, the non-rich lot surrounding Cambrdige can just whistle according to the altnets and Openwretch.

    Cambridge is literally a spoilt child treated better than the rest of the UK.

    1. David Hall says:

      I live just over the boarder in Suffolk with a Cambridge telephone code 01353
      The is fibre up to a cabinet about a mile away then there is copper & aluminium cable = bad broadband speed.
      Getting pi**Ed off with the fibre brigade wanting lightning fast Gb.
      I did read a report stating it should be full UK connection by 2030, I could be dead by then !!

    2. El Guapo says:

      Apparently “East of England” means Cambridge only. What a disgrace. They’ve got fibre coming out of their ears. Meanwhile the rest of “East of England” gets nothing. It’s not so nice feeling like your county (Bedfordshire) is below tier compared to Cambridge, Peterbourough,Northampton, Milton Keynes etc (ok some are “Buckinghamshire what what”) but can we stop giving Cambridge everything and the rest of us nothing?

      When will these altnets come to Luton? To Flitwick? to Kempston? To Bedford? …. never.

      It depresses me. Fibre to the left of me, fibre to the right , here I am stuck in the middle with * nothing * Dare I say it ? Fibre is for the rich.

    3. Mark Jackson says:

      The article talks about Cambridgeshire, NOT the city of Cambridge. The village of reach is also fairly small, rural, and well outside of Cambridge. I have not seen any indication, yet, that they intend to build FTTP into Cambridge itself.

    4. Peter says:

      FYI Vodafone gigafast uses CityFibre!

    5. Paul M says:

      I live just 5mi west of Cambridge, and 8/10 houses in the village are on 50 year old copper wires, with just a few patches of FTTP, and no altnets. There’s only 4G outdoor coverage but speeds are not that good, and indoor coverage is at best patchy 3G.

      BT screwed up the opportunity to have Community Fibre, and Cambridge Fibre are interested but need more community engagement.

      What annoys me is that BT have had 50 years of line rental from 100’s of houses, and invested none of that back into the last mile infrastructure.

  2. Jonathon Cross says:

    Cambridge Fibre is another ISP in Cambridgeshire (I work for them.) We are rolling out to several villages as a priority, these all surrounding Cambridge at present. We are already live in Milton and Cambridge. Great and Little Wilbraham have started to receive connections too.

    1. Craig says:

      Any chance of looking a bit further north, say Ramsey maybe? 😉

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