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F&W Networks Get £25m to Expand Full Fibre in South England

Tuesday, Jul 5th, 2022 (10:59 am) - Score 2,416
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Network operator and builder F&W Networks – supported by their UK retail ISP Hey! Broadband – has today secured a significant £25m funding package from Santander, which will enable them to expand the rollout of their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure across the South of England.

The Altrincham-based operator, which has long held an aspiration to cover over 1 million UK premises by 2025, has so far been spotted deploying their “full fibre” networks across parts of several counties including West Sussex (Horsham and Southwater), Oxfordshire, Greater London, Buckinghamshire (Gerrards Cross, Chalfont Saint Peter, High Wycombe and Beaconsfield), Hertfordshire (Hemel Hempstead) and Surrey (Godalming) etc.

NOTE: F&W Networks (Fibre and Wireless) were originally supported by an unspecified amount of investment from Maestro Capital.

According to today’s announcement, the operator claims to have already covered 150,000 homes with their network and the new £25 million package from Santander will enable them to deploy FTTP into additional “mid-size cities and rural areas” within the UK.

Suffice to say, we wouldn’t be surprised to see some new rollout announcements from the operator in the not-too-distant future. Speaking of which, we note that they’re currently examining the potential to deploy into the communities of Frieth, Stokenchurch, Slinfold and Elstead.

Jonathan Corcoran, Director, Specialised and Project Finance at Santander UK, said:

“We are delighted to provide F&W Networks with this £25m funding package. Santander UK is proud to support companies like F&W Networks that are playing a crucial role in connecting homes, businesses, and other key organisations with full fibre technology throughout the UK.”

Once live, customers can expect unlimited packages that cost from £23 per month for 100Mbps (50Mbps upload) with free installation (inc. WiFi 6 router) on a 24-month term, which rises to just £35 for their top 900Mbps (symmetric) package (returns to £43 after the first 24-months). Hey! also pledges no mid-contract price hikes.

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Mark-Jackson
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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
19 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Carl Jones says:

    Hopefully they can start running there broadband via underground ducts soon. Live in Copthorne and all houses that the line comes via the telegraph pole are live but if like my house comes up underground the roll out has frozen. Will have to keep baring my 50mbs ha

  2. Avatar photo Granola says:

    You know 100% that you have ducts and it isn’t Direct In Ground fed ?

    1. Avatar photo Carl Jones says:

      Yeah the bt line comes via the underground via the front garden. So poles on my road. Built around 1985 the house. Whole area on 1 side of the village with underground ducting seems to have frozen and no roadworks info of anymore roll out.

  3. Avatar photo Martin Saunders says:

    I have Hey!Broadband/F&W and their fibre arrived via existing underground ducts all the way, I live on a 2011 built new-build estate.

    1. Avatar photo Clive peters says:

      are they any good? The web site seems quite unprofessional

  4. Avatar photo Peach says:

    They are also in Crawley, Billingshurst and Dorking

    1. Avatar photo Sam Perry says:

      And pulborough apparently

    2. Avatar photo Peach says:

      I’m in Pulborough and I haven’t seen them but could make sense, although there are Trooli and Giganet already rolling out there

  5. Avatar photo Marcus Knight says:

    I put my Beaconsfield postcode and it says the service isn’t available at all even though there’s people been down there and there’s been leaflet drops. Disappointed so may have to wait a little longer.

  6. Avatar photo Just Cycling says:

    My parents signed up for Hey B service at weekend and are just awaiting install date. Trying to find out what router is provided as they have thick stone walls

    They luckily had choice of Virgin having cabled the street last year , Swish who are currently installing in their area and their existing BT fttp connection albeit quite expensive.

    Where I live in zone 5 in London I can only get VDSL or Virgin which was originally laid in the street in the 1980s and gets glitchy sometimes.

    1. Avatar photo Bill says:

      Think they’re using Adtran RGs

    2. Avatar photo Just Cycling says:

      Fibre install completed on agreed date. Wired connection speed on parents desktop excellent.
      It is an Adtran router which is also the ONT.

      Seems quite good albeit was not able to find how to turn on parental controls for their grandkids and range does not seem as far as the old Asus router I setup for them.

  7. Avatar photo Bill says:

    I think they are also building in Wantage, South Oxfordshire. Someone has built a new cab in the middle of town and F&W have a few roadworks permits in, plus there’s loads of duct replacement and clearance work going on.

    No sign of any fibre going in yet though

    1. Avatar photo Bill says:

      That aged well… Plenty of boxes going onto the tops of poles around Wantage, seen people pulling fibre in. Not spotted anything in Grove yet, but loads of duct replacement done there, so I assume it’s being worked on. I guess they want to get most of the fibre in before they go public on the website

    2. Avatar photo Bazz says:

      I am watching them install the fiber into the ducts off Denchworth Road as I type this
      Though the time frame listed by OpenReach was between 2022 and 2024, not expecting anything before mid to late 2023

  8. Avatar photo Cliff says:

    This seems like a major step forward for F&W! How long until they are gobbled up in M&A??

  9. Avatar photo Ben says:

    They’re also in Burgess Hill (West Sussex)

  10. Avatar photo Cliff says:

    Their coverage by town can be found here: https://heybroadband.co.uk/coverage

  11. Avatar photo Vince says:

    I understand that unlike Virgin, F&W’s network is open for use by various ISPs, much like Open Reach. I would like to confirm if this is true or not.

    Does anybody have experience of or know anything about selecting an ISP other than heybroadband.co.uk to run over an FTTP connection installed by F&W Networks ?

    I am interested in the future flexibility one would have on F&W’s FTTP and not the comparative merits today of Hey! Broadband vs other ISPs.

Comments are closed

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