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Ogi Issue Progress Update on FTTP Broadband Rollout in Wales

Tuesday, June 7th, 2022 (8:31 am) - Score 1,704
Ogi-full-fibre-sign

Broadband ISP Ogi has just issued a brief progress update to celebrate the first year of their £200m effort to deploy a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across South Wales (here and here), which initially aims to cover 150,000 premises by the end of 2025 (they’ve almost completed 23,000).

At present Ogi, which was formerly known as Spectrum Internet and is currently being backed by Infracapital (i.e. the infrastructure investment arm of M&G Plc), says they’re still “on track” to deliver on the first phase (150,000 premises) of their rollout plan and “intend to accelerate” this rollout further. The operator has also created 165 “highly skilled jobs“, which doesn’t include the hundreds more being supported via their supply chains.

NOTE: Ogi also has an aspiration to cover “at least” 350,000 premises in a Phase 2 build across other parts of Wales (possibly rising up to 500,000), but the official plan for that is yet to be confirmed.

To date, the company states that they’ve “already connected” Haverfordwest, Rhoose, Llantwit Major, St Athan and Abergavenny, with its build now also getting underway in Johnston, Milford Haven, Dinas Powys and Monmouth: A further 8 other towns and villages are in the company’s sights before the end of 2022, yet none are named today (although their engineers have been spotted around Porthcawl).

Each community is said to “benefit from a capital injection of around £6m“, with the long-term economic impact from the company’s total first phase investment of £200m across south Wales estimated to be worth up to £1bn to the Welsh economy. But as usual, you should take such forecasts with a pinch of salt, since it remains perilously difficult to accurately model the economic impact of faster broadband speeds.

Ogi added that they’ve also opened four new offices this month to mark their first-year milestone – including premises in St Clears and Tongwynlais; a state-of-the-art network laboratory in Newport; and a flagship headquarters, ‘Tŷ Ogi’, in Cardiff’s historic Hodge House.

Ben Allwright, Ogi’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“Right from the start, our ambition has been to become a leading Welsh telecoms company, and the last 12 months have certainly laid the foundations for that goal.

We’re continuously driven to bring next generation broadband to underserved areas across Wales. Ogi’s roll-out is bringing much needed connectivity to towns and villages from Pembrokeshire to Monmouthshire much faster than they’d otherwise be served, ensuring everybody has access to the same opportunities for a more prosperous and greener future.

Our team live and work in our rollout communities and are passionate about the possibilities that Gigabit-connectivity is bringing.”

The announcement itself didn’t mention it, but Ogi has informed us that they anticipate passing 23,000 premises by the end of this month (up from sharply from 4,565 households in Nov 2021), with sales penetration figures ahead of plan for this stage by 9%. Take-up is always suppressed during the early ramping-up phase of a new network build, since the rollout often goes faster than people can organically adopt it.

One other thing that isn’t covered in the announcement is Ogi’s pursuit of a dual strategy to build and unbundle, which enables them to offer cheaper FTTP broadband packages via Openreach’s network (i.e. in areas where they’ve yet to deploy their own fibre, to maximise coverage). A total of around 33 handover exchanges are expected to have been unbundled and backhauled by the end of 2022 (here) – plus a few Sub-Loop Unbundled (SLU) areas.

Otherwise, customers of the new service can expect to pay from £35 per month for an unlimited service with downloads of 150Mbps (15Mbps upload), free installation and an included wireless router (or a mesh system on their faster plans) – currently reduced to £25 per month for the first 6 months on a 24-month term. By comparison, Ogi’s top package will give you 900Mbps (90Mbps upload) for £65 per month (£55 for the first 6 months).

Ogi’s 150 packages include the Zyxel EX3301 router, while Ogi 300 and Ogi 900 packages include two Amazon eero routers (wifi mesh).

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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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6 Responses
  1. dee.jay says:

    https://bidb.uk – I use this site regularly to track roadwork notifications from ISP’s – and Porthcawl is currently peppered with Net Support UK Ltd notifications. One of them even says “Works programmed to take place at location is to use existing pots for fibre service, ogi”

    1. BC88 says:

      I noticed this last week on BIDUK also. It’s a shame Netomnia haven’t made it to Porthcawl (yet) – despite working on a few deployments outside of Bridgend (town) that were extremely close by, but great to see Ogi have appeared and looking forward to seeing how their roll out progresses.

    2. dee.jay says:

      Netomnia’s CEO has posted on here before that their rollout is for the entire of the county. Judging by how fast roadwork notifications have swept north through the town (I’m off a different exchange) – I don’t think it’s going to take them too long!

      Now, whilst having one altnet to challenge OR’s slow rollout is interesting, having two is going to be extremely fun indeed.

    3. BC88 says:

      Ah interesting, I missed those comments. I’d reached out to Netomnia/YouFibre multiple times to understand whether the roll-out was targeting town or county but never received a clear response, though admittedly, you could draw some conclusions just from the numbers they were targeting.

      Perhaps my dream of a synchronous gigabit connection isn’t completely dead yet.

  2. Dai says:

    For all the “Welsh broadband, broadband for Wales” Ogi like to blow their own trumpet about.

    On the face of it, it appears Netomnia are rapidly overtaking them and accelerating away from them in terms of deployment and coverage.

  3. Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    The figures mentioned in this article are interesting.

    “Ogi has informed us that they anticipate passing 23,000 premises by the end of this month”
    “sales penetration figures ahead of plan for this stage by 9%”

    According to OGI’s website, yhey have a special offer with the OGI 150 £25, OGI 300 £35, and OGI 900 £55; Probably pricing to encourage take up. If it was me, the OGI 150 would do me, some may go for the OGI 300, but few would require the OGI 900 service imo.Going off the figures in the article, 9% sales penetration across 23,000 premises comes to around 2000, to 2100, premises connected; Assuming an average of £35 per premise, comes to around £73,000 a month from sales. £73,000 a month seems a lot, but how much does it cost to run it’s operations monthly? And although the article states, “Take-up is always suppressed during the early ramping-up phase of a new network build, since the rollout often goes faster than people can organically adopt it”, how will they manage once competition hits them going forward?
    I’d be interested to see an article looking at the cost of operations for the Altnets, whether they are making profit on completed rollout areas, and if not what is their cash burn rate.
    I worked in Telecoms in the 80’s/90’s, and watched the Cable companies build within their franchise areas, with much of the same hype; Eventually the music stopped playing with most of the cable companies failing, and Cable & Wireless moving in, amalgamating, and later selling on to NTL.
    No doubt industry insiders will say it’s different this time, but this feels very Deja Vu to me.

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