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FTTP Builder Digital Infrastructure Covers 100K UK Premises and Hires New CEO

Monday, Jun 5th, 2023 (1:17 pm) - Score 2,760
Digital-Infrastructure-Engineer-in-Street

Network operator Digital Infrastructure – supported by ISP BeFibre – has today announced that their gigabit-capable broadband infrastructure is now “well on its way to rolling out to a fully designed base of 400,000 premises, with over 100,000 now ready for connection.” On top of that, they’ve appointed a new CEO, Paul Doyle.

Just to recap. The operator began its rollout of a new FTTP network in 2021 with an aim to cover 1 million premises across 80 UK towns and cities by the end of 2027 (here), albeit starting with an initial goal of achieving 200,000 premises passed (Ready for Service) by the end of 2022 (14,000 were completed by August 2022). Clearly, they appear to have missed their original ambition for 2022, but the rollout does now look set to accelerate.

NOTE: BeFibre / DI is fuelled by a £100m investment from Basalt Infrastructure Partners.

The provider now claims to be actively selling broadband in more than 30 of the country’s towns and cities (e.g. we’ve seen them announce various places like Crewe, Brentwood, Worcester, Clacton on Sea, Hattersley and more – here and here), with their build areas being “anticipated to double by the end of 2023” – taking the rollout figure to 60 locations this year alone.

As part of this, the company has today announced the appointment of a new “interim CEO“, Paul Doyle, as they “gear up for their next phase of growth.” Doyle has 40 years of experience in the telecoms sector and, until 2018, he managed the full range of technology, operations, commercial, finance, and support functions, for Ireland’s largest telco, eir Ireland.

Paul Doyle, CEO of BeFibre and DI, said:

“We are committed to fulfilling our growth ambitions and I’m looking forward to driving this forward as we move into the next phase of our business plan — developing our network and evolving our proposition on a much larger scale.

While competition in the market has intensified, there is ever-rising demand for high-speed broadband in the UK — particularly in underserved areas. BeFibre’s aim is to empower consumers with a fit-for-the-future network that delivers the guaranteed speeds they need now, providing a premium product at an affordable price point.”

The press release makes no mention of what happened to their former CEO, Charlie Ruddy, but according to Linkedin he has taken up the CEO position at COA Networks and will now be “leading a project on the island of St Helena to build a full fibre network for the government and its 4,000 St Helenians.” So far as logistical challenges go, that’s a huge one.

Back to BeFibre and DI. Clowne, Worcester, Brightlingsea and Skelmersdale are said to be just a few of several project areas where the build is now “well underway“, with more areas set to be announced by the end of the year. We have also asked the operator to confirm which towns now have some live areas and whether “ready for connection” is the same as the industry standard “Ready for Service” (RFS) definition.

Customers tend to pay from £29 per month on a 24-month term for an unlimited 150Mbps (symmetric) package with free installation, which rises to just £49 for their top 900Mbps tier. Most of their fastest tiers also give new customers the option of taking either a Weber® Go-Anywhere BBQ (RRP £111.99) or £75 Amazon voucher.

UPDATE 1:51pm

The operator has confirmed that the 100k figure is indeed RFS and their live deployments are currently as follows:

Essex and the South East – 34,000 Premises

Includes Brentwood, Clacton, Brightlingsea and Ingatestone

North West – 47,000 Premises

Includes Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Tameside, and Merseyside

Worcester – 11,000 premises

Midlands – 6,500 premises

Includes: Boston, Lutterworth

South Yorkshire – 6,700

Incudes: Maltby and Bramley

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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
6 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Jimmy says:

    Hi Mark,

    Those numbers certainly don’t line up with what is shown on Thinkbroadband – i wonder what Andrew makes of this – he’s a good source of what is really happening.

    JB

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Indeed, but then we also have to consider that BeFibre/DI do appear to have only very recently entered the rapid ramp-up phase, so as usual it may take a bit of time for TBB to catch-up and find everything. Andrew does a lot of manual work, so it’s not an easy or quick task.

    2. Avatar photo Andrew Ferguson says:

      Such is the amount of overlap I am revisiting areas multiple times of late

      e.g. there are now seven postcodes in Clacton on Sea with access to
      LitFibre
      BeFibre
      Lightspeed
      Openreach FTTP

      No doubt there will be more of these quadruple choice postcodes as I look more.

      In months where time is limited of which May was due to a thing called a holiday and family time, priority is on non-overlapping areas.

  2. Avatar photo Kevin M says:

    Love the idea of the previous CEO being sent to St Helena like Napoleon – (for 6 years?). Seems harsh on ex Fibre CEO’s. Where next Rockall!!

    1. Avatar photo Andrew G says:

      It could be harsh, especially if the St Helena in question is the modest suburb of Tamworth. If it’s the other St Helena, then perhaps not at all harsh. If I got a gig on St Helena (the island) I’d be more delighted than polite words can express. Check out the climate, and a few images.

      Obviously you’re not going to get frequent visitors from the mainland (ANY mainland, that is) so works best for those who wouldn’t half mind being a long, long way from seething masses. And you can expect that everything is very expensive. You’ll need to enjoy eating fish, listening to the sounds of nature, and finding your own entertainment (until Mr Ruddy introduces the island fully to the delights of the internet). And best of all, they don’t **** with the clocks twice a year. I could live with all that.

  3. Avatar photo Alastair says:

    They’ve been stealth building in Cleveleys (Lancs) – according to the county council roadworks database they’re “clearing blockages in BT ducts”, and while they’re there they stick a Digital Infrastructure grey connector box on the pole. They seem to have done most of the town, but have yet to switch on the network.

Comments are closed

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