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Full Fibre ISP YouFibre Hits 10,000 UK Customers and Offers 6 Months Free

Wednesday, June 29th, 2022 (10:45 am) - Score 2,880
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Broadband ISP YouFibre has revealed that their new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which is being built by network partner Netomnia across various UK towns (live in 22), has just connected their 10,000th customer (up from 5,000 in Feb 2022). To celebrate, they’re offering new users up to 6 months free.

At present Netomnia has so far covered around 130,000 premises (up from 50,000 in September 2021) and they aim to reach 1 million by the end of 2023. In that sense, the figure of 10,000 customers equates to a take-up rate of just 7.69%, which is low. But that’s to be expected from a brand-new network that is still in the early process of ramping-up its rollout (adoption takes a long time to grow, due to various reasons).

NOTE: Netomnia is supported by an equity investment from DigitalBridge, as well as commitments from existing shareholders (Soho Square Capital LLP, Advencap Ltd etc.). So far this totals £418m.

During the rapid rollout phase, the pace of new build will often suppress the take-up figure. The only way to truly measure take-up is thus to look back and only examine areas where the network has been present for 2+ years (YouFibre/Netomnia are too new for that). Operators in more competitive areas often target c.20-30% to ensure future payback (models will vary between locations, due to differing build costs and density of premises etc.).

However, one oddity with today’s press release is where YouFibre states that it “announced its 5,000th customer just three months ago“, except it’s the 29th June today and their previous announcement dropped on 10th February. So that’s 139 days, or 4 months and 19 days – nearly 5 months. Maths may not be their strong point.

Apparently, YouFibre’s 10,000th customer, who lives in the town of Cheltenham, received generous gifts worth over £1,000, including a brand-new Apple MacBook Air and 12 months of free broadband, which is nice.

Ryan Battle, Managing Director, said:

“Cheltenham is a special place to us, with our head office in Tewkesbury, and it’s a privilege to be supporting residents with an ultrafast and reliable connection. I’m extremely proud of the hard work from the entire team in supporting YouFibre’s rapid growth to reach 10,000 customers. But we still feel we’re only just getting started in our mission to provide customers with access to ultrafast and ultra-affordable full fibre broadband.

Whilst the cost of living rises, we are committed to helping our customers manage their broadband costs, which includes offering no fixed-term contracts and with no in-contract price rises guaranteed. Our full fibre connection isn’t just reliable but enables residents to stream on multiple devices at once with no disruption at all, unlike many other providers. We are confident you’ll love us, which is why we have launched our best offer yet of six months free broadband for new customers across all towns where we are either live or coming very soon.”

As above, the service itself is typically supplied to consumers via YouFibre, which offers unlimited usage, symmetrical speeds, a Wi-Fi router, free installation and 24/7 UK based support. Customers pay from just £17 per month on an 18-month term (£22 thereafter) for their unlimited 50Mbps package, which rises to £34 if you want their top 900Mbps plan (£50 thereafter).

However, as a result of today’s news, the ISP has gone one further, and they plan to give six months of free broadband to all new customers joining either their 500Mbps or 1000Mbps package, from Friday 1st July to 30th September 2022.

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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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19 Responses
  1. Peter F says:

    They seem to be absolutely banging on with the rollouts. Sure to be one of the top AltNets soon!

  2. An independent observer says:

    Mark you are much smarter than this.

    I read the same comments here or in the FT or any other newspaper…. “In that sense, the figure of 10,000 customers equates to a take-up rate of just 7.69%, which is low”.

    I think lots of people have to start looking at the take up in a different light:

    – On average since Feb this year they would have covered about 100k homes over the 5 month period (based on the build rate since September 2021).
    – Since Feb they have added 5k customers, or so about 1k a month.
    – Customer churn is only about 12% a year in UK broadband (or 1% a month), so within the 100k homes footprint since February (assuming 5 months inclusive) some 5k customers will have decided to leave their current operator within the Youfibre footprint.
    – Given youfibre has added 5k customers in that period they have added 100% of customers who churned.
    – This is a phenomenal success rate and suggests that achieving long term penetration of 30-40% is certainly possible (competitive response dependent)

    Let’s move away from this overly basic commentary about penetration rates based on 12 months of build – it doesn’t tell the real story.

    1. - says:

      IMHO the truth is somewhere between the two. There are also plenty of people who want full fibre who will happily buy as soon as it’s available even if they are not yet at the end of thier FTTC contract. They will happily pay for the FTTC too for the remaining 2,4,6,9 etc months especially if youfibre is free in this period. Some may even keep the fttc as backup. Some will be on the rolling monthly terms after their existing contract finished but they never signed a new one as they are happy. The truth is they are probably getting about 50%+ of natural churn.

    2. Mark Jackson says:

      @OP.

      The whole point of writing this bit was to show why 7.69% should NOT be considered as “low” :).

      But that’s to be expected from a brand-new network that is still in the early process of ramping-up its rollout (adoption takes a long time to grow, due to various reasons). During the rapid rollout phase, the pace of new build will often suppress the take-up figure. The only way to truly measure take-up is thus to look back and only examine areas where the network has been present for 2+ years (YouFibre/Netomnia are too new for that). Operators in more competitive areas often target c.20-30% to ensure future payback (models will vary between locations, due to differing build costs and density of premises etc.).

  3. Moss says:

    as soon as free is mentioned people jump on it like rabbits lol

  4. Andy says:

    Still waiting to be connected 11 months after placing my order, Netomnia are just a joke right now, all they want to do is provide in areas where it is cheap as possible to do, as soon as they have to spend money (do actual ground works) they stall in that area. I would not hold your breath if you live in such an area. Right now I live right between two roads that have had the service for well over 8 months, and all I get of them is your area is still in planning…

    They are just a waste of time and a total joke.

    1. An Engineer says:

      ‘all they want to do is provide in areas where it is cheap as possible to do’

      Yup. That’s the business model most have, especially those with pricing as low as Netomnia/You Fibre.

      They do plenty of streetworks to deliver their product, but there is a hard cost limit per property and if a street goes above that per property they, and almost everyone else it’s just the limit that changes, won’t build there.

      They’re building nearby here however the slightest issue on our estate and my property is out of the programme – it’ll get too expensive immediately. Same goes for Virgin Media or CityFibre.

    2. Fttpuser says:

      They started Frome months ago but far as I can see its stalled. No cabinets anywhere yet. After they wrote in Feb saying coming shortly I got fed up with waiting and went with openreacch fttp for now.

    3. - says:

      Thats what I would expect them to do (and hope). If your house costs twice as much to connect as the other 40 houses on the nearby street do but you pay the same subscription then you’re a money losing proposition, and will help make the enterprise expensive and then cityfibre or another altnet will overbuild to only the cheap houses and they’ll be left with the hard to reach ones only.

      Basically, you will probably only ever get whatever you have now + maybe openreach FTTP if you are lucky unless there is subsidy. Openreaches place will be more and more focused on serving premises which are uneconomic for new build fibre. You may well argue that ofcom should have used a franchising model and allowed one ISP to use PIA in a area in return for a commitment to cover all premises in said area and be subject to light touch regulation or a number of other ways but we have what we have.

    4. Andy says:

      Openreach has already said there is NO plans coming in my estate. So atm I have no options, most estates round me have already got FTTP, ATM I am using 4G just to get better than FTTC speed of 36mbits here. I just don’t see Netomnia completing my estate, but as it is still in planning they are seen to be showing to the government to be complying with their grant restrictions. IMO it is all just a joke, and yet again the people with the worst speeds are left in the dark, and people that already have 100mbits+ speeds are getting speed bumps.

    5. An Engineer says:

      ‘They started Frome months ago but far as I can see its stalled. No cabinets anywhere yet.’

      Netomnia don’t use cabinets.

    6. Jake4 says:

      Andy why are you saying that “people [you] with the worst speeds are left in the dark” whilst you are able to get 36mbps via FTTC and faster speeds over 4G. Plenty of other people have a much slower speed than you.

    7. An Engineer says:

      ‘I just don’t see Netomnia completing my estate, but as it is still in planning they are seen to be showing to the government to be complying with their grant restrictions.’

      What grant restrictions? The only money Netomnia take from government is vouchers and those are only payable when they have delivered to a property.

      They probably won’t complete your estate until the cost goes down. They aren’t a charity or co-operative they’re a privately funded, privately owned business out to make a profit.

      If your road is something like direct in ground buried cabling so no ducts for them to use they’d have to dig, taking their costs way over the about £300 per premises passed budget and substantially slowing down their other local builds.

      It’s not some personal thing. It’s been costed and the decision made to put it on hold pending circumstances changing. They aren’t under an obligation to upgrade your broadband speed it’s purely a business transaction and they don’t have a case for it right now. If they built to everywhere in an area they’d have to charge more leaving them with fewer customers and most of those they have paying more to subsidise a relative few.

      Openreach follow this model in part because they have to and in part because their business case is different from everyone else – they have an old network they want to retire at some point.

      CityFibre and Virgin Media have hard limits on the extent of their build. These can and do change depending on circumstances.

      This is useless to you but it’s the way it is and not a negative reflection on any of these businesses. Even Openreach don’t want to touch you right now so something must be up somewhere.

    8. Frilly Knickers says:

      Welp, I’m crossing all my fingers and toes they come to my house when/if they do their planned rollout here. Openreach have decided not to cable our street so I’m left with 5G if I want anything other than 80mbit VDSL. We have G.Fast too, but it doesn’t work but then we have a 300m long line. I can literally throw a stone at someone who has OR FTTP. None of the ones I know feel like sharing either.

    9. m@ says:

      I’ve got the option of virgin cable and openreach fttp and last month youfibre came knocking on the door. They seemed pretty surprised about the latter which is odd as I’ve had it for 2 years. Anyway the go-live date has passed with crickets so…

  5. Richard says:

    I’ve been with Youfibre for a few months now and have to admit I was concerned with them been a new provider, however it’s been fantastic for me.
    950Mbs up and down wired, wireless speeds between 820Mbs and 250 depending on the connected device/ distance.
    Really pleased with them so far.

    1. John says:

      How much do they charge for static IP? Is IPv6 available? They started rolling in my town recently and despite them telling that my postcode/street is included in their plans I am a bit concerned that they are not aware there are no BT ducts in my area, only OFNL.

  6. Ivan the Terrible says:

    These figures for Netomnia/YF don’t really stack up. It’s more likely they have passed 130k rather than have 130k RFS so quite a bit will be for investor show only. More likely 90k/100k RFS – still a good figure but it makes the 10k customer take up look questionable – that would be a 10% take up not including churn and is higher than AltNets take up nationally – so a pinch of salt here, especially given their propensity to blow their own trumpets loud and often. That said they are making other AltNets look like under achievers.

    1. An Engineer says:

      Anecdotal but in this area with Openreach FTTP the only service available they’ve an impressive number of preorders and quite a few expressions of interest on top of that.

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