» ISP News » 
Sponsored Links

Netomnia Prep 8Gbps Broadband as Full Fibre Covers 600,000 UK Premises

Thursday, Aug 24th, 2023 (11:00 am) - Score 6,536

The CEO of UK ISP Zen Internet, Richard Tang, has today published a new video interview with the CEO of network builder Netomnia (inc. sibling ISP YouFibre), Jeremy Chelot, which reveals a lot of useful information about the coverage of their alternative Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, costs, take-up and future targets.

Just to recap. Netomnia, which is currently present in parts of around 40 UK towns and cities (with many more in-planning), have “ambitions of reaching 1 million premises by early 2024” in parts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland (coverage plan – plus additions here, here and here).

NOTE: Netomnia is fuelled by an equity investment from DigitalBridge and commitments from existing shareholders (Soho Square Capital LLP, Advencap Ltd etc.). Total funding of £648m raised over the last 3 years (here).

The operator tends to adopt a Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) centric build model, which means that they can keep their build costs low and rollout quite rapidly by running new fibre via Openreach’s existing cable ducts and poles. Not to mention harnessing rack space inside BT’s existing exchanges rather than building their own Fibre Exchanges (FEX).

However, over the longer-term, this approach may cause issues if and when Ofcom decides to relax their regulation of PIA, but that may not happen until after 2023 and for now a PIA heavy approach is a fair way of weathering the current market’s many strains (e.g. rising costs).

The Jeremy Chelot Interview

Richard Tang’s new interview goes into a lot of depth about why Jeremy Chelot, who was previously the CEO of another fairly successful alternative network (CommunityFibre), setup Netomnia and its sibling ISP YouFibre. At the time of writing, the video wasn’t yet online (we’ll post it once it is), but once it goes live today then you’ll be able to see it at on this YouTube Playlist.

The interview reveals that Netomnia’s 10Gbps capable full fibre (FTTP / XGS-PON) network has now covered 600,000 premises (Ready for Service) – in the space of just three years, which is up from the 500,000 reported on 6th July 2023. The provider currently claims to be building at a rate of 50,000 premises passed per month and they’re now home to 45,000 customers (up from 40,000 in July 2023).

Jeremy indicates that he expects that customer figure to reach 50,000 by early September 2023, and they hope to reach 100,000 by sometime in the first half of 2024. We also get a rare and useful insight into how much take-up Netomnia is aiming for, which is something that most AltNet’s usually consider to be too commercially sensitive to talk about.

The operator claims to be aiming for a take-up of 33%, but crucially their low build costs mean they can be cash positive with a take-up of around just 13-15% (i.e. everything beyond that is a bonus). This helps to explain why they’re so resilient, given the current market conditions, and are comfortable taking on the biggest players in their urban and suburban-centric builds. But this also requires tight cost control, which could make them inflexible with trying to tackle tedious edge cases of connectivity (examples).

The interview then goes on to cover market consolidation, the future of aggressive pricing and overbuild between networks. Jeremy also describes the government’s Building Digital UK (BDUK) agency as being a waste of taxpayer’s money – “it is very counterintuitive to start with the most expensive stuff using tax payers’ money, where it is difficult to make return. BDUK are creating lots of issues spending money where private investment will get to.”

Broadly speaking, Jeremy suggests that it would be better to wait until the commercial builds have reached about 80-90% completion, that way it may be much easier to confirm the final gaps left to fill. A fair position. But it’s worth noting that BDUK’s current focus is on rural areas where commercial build plans do not yet exist (this covers the next 3 years) and delaying it would put the government’s “national” coverage ambitions for 2030 at risk.

One other issue is that it’s often more cost-efficient to conduct such builds/projects at a time when there are already plenty of engineers / resources around due to commercial projects, than to wait till those major projects have finished (job losses), and it becomes harder to ramp back up. If Netomnia were doing serious rural, then their opinion here might have more weight, but they aren’t.

Finally, it’s revealed that, for a bit of “fun“, Netomnia via YouFibre are planning to launch an 8Gbps broadband package by the end of this month, and it’ll set you back £99.99 a month. This may seem expensive, but it’s really not. Just for a quick comparison, Zzoomm charges £54.95 per month for 2Gbps, CommunityFibre charges £49 for 3Gbps and B4RN will give you a whopping 10Gbps (8Gbps is probably more realistic for the advertised average rate at this speed) for £150 per month plus £360 setup.

Everybody right now is making a headline about doing 2Gbps. I can do 8Gbps, so why not do a headline with 8Gbps,” said Jeremy, who makes no secret of the fact that this is more about marketing and that’s fine. The product will also be supported by a “beast” of a router (it’ll need to be to handle that speed). We should point out that speeds like this are not uncommon in more mature FTTP markets, so the UK is still playing catch-up – what seems radical today will be normal tomorrow.

At this point we could get into all the usual arguments about why people don’t need such speeds today and couldn’t even fully harness that sort of performance, particularly given that most computers can’t manage it and many internet services currently struggle to harness a few hundred Megabits per second, let alone multiple Gigabits (Why Buying Gigabit Broadband Doesn’t Always Deliver 1Gbps).

But who cares, it’s fun, and they can do it, so they’re going to do it. We rather like that.

UPDATE 11:29am

The video is now live.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
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 .
Search ISP News
Search ISP Listings
Search ISP Reviews
51 Responses
  1. Avatar photo ItGoesto11 says:

    Awaiting the usual bunch with the “my FTTC is 74mbit nobody needs more than that”. They are building in a town near us, I’d order 8gig tomorrow.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      Why? I am curious why you would need that sort of speed.
      you say you are waiting for the FTTC is 74mbit nobody needs more than that bunch. I am not going to say that because some people may want more than that, but I doubt very much if anyone need 8Gb/s unless they own a hotel, a business with lots of people using broadband or a huge family.
      A lot of people get the higher speed because they think they need it or just because they can, but I don’t see the point in paying higher prices for something that is not going to be used to it’s full potential.

      As I said before, I was happy with 36Mb/s, I changed to an Alt net FTTP because it was cheaper than then what my provider at the time offered me for FTTC or FTTP. I could have gone to a different provider for FTTC,but the ones I looked at were only a couple of quid per month cheaper than the Alt net.

      some people may need higher speeds, I am not doubting that, but most will be fine with 100Mb/s to be honest, but at the end of the day it is up to people, but i still think some people use it to brag.

    2. Avatar photo XGS says:

      I’ve been expecting you, Ad

    3. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

      I don’t need a Ferrari but I’d buy one if I could afford one.

    4. Avatar photo The_Builder says:

      Why buy expensive item when alternative cheaper option is available?
      Well, you can say that about any other product/service in the market.

      Some people can afford the luxury even if it is not required. Some people can’t afford it but gets the product/service so they can show off :).

  2. Avatar photo Jim says:

    BDUK may not be perfect but it’s pretty arrogant to say just wait til market has delivered commercially then fill in the hard gaps… especially from someone not building anything rural or hard to reach.

    Interesting to see the video in full for context

    1. Avatar photo Martin says:

      Are you saying they shouldn’t be allowed to deploy until everyone gets 1 gig ?

  3. Avatar photo Jack says:

    I have 2Gbps with Zzoomm and I think it’s right that other ISP’s do things like this, it then forces others to follow on eventually.

    The Altnets have the advantage with speed for a good few years to come.

  4. Avatar photo John says:

    Our of all the taxpayer wastes, I would put BDUK just about average waste. The difference is that BDUK disrupts an industry in a negative way. If BDUK and ofcom didn’t exist or had the Twitter treatment, these massive govt departments being cut would allow for taxcuts which would allow the industry to work faster, not to mention less admin for companies too

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      There’s nothing stopping anybody from bypassing BDUK and doing a purely commercial build wherever they want.

      On the assumption that you want to abolish Ofcom, but assuming you still want some stuff doing like consumer protection (GCoE), radio spectrum allocation and related work, etc? Let’s assume that your proposal saves two thirds of the current budget of Ofcom, meaning a saving of around £80m a year. Out of a total government spend of of £1.1 trillion, I’d say the saving is trivial, and even those costs come out of general taxation so most the altnets aren’t paying any of it as they don’t yet pay corporation tax and won’t for many, many years.

    2. Avatar photo Sam says:

      You get a few dozen millions, you get a few dozen millions, everyone gets a few dozen millions… Is the reason why we got record taxation. There is no incentive to cut costs, only to grow the size of the state and people dependent on the state

    3. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Well, to a point that’s correct, but the overwhelming cause of the rise in public spending over the past two or more decades is on pensions, health care and social care, and that’s because in 1970, average life expectancy was about 72 years, now it’s about 82 years and rising steadily.

      If you want a smaller state then you need to get companies and public sector employers to provide decent pensions properly accrued during an employee’s working life (including the public sector pensions), and you need some pay as you go healthcare system. Good luck getting a US-style health and welfare system accepted in the UK (and it’s notable US taxes are barely any lower than the UK even despite their approach to health and welfare).

    4. Avatar photo Anon says:

      Networks literally tell BDUK where they are going to build, and BDUK fill in the gaps. You could cut tax to zero and there would still be plenty of gaps which are simply not commercially viable to build. That’s why the subsidy is needed.

  5. Avatar photo Clive peters says:

    I don’t get these speed claims on pon networks. Only one of the potential 32/64 users can ever have 8 gig at a time, right?

    1. Avatar photo Martin says:

      It all relies upon the fact that at any one point in time only a small portion of users will be using the connection, and even fewer maxing out their connection.

      I’d be surprised if the backhaul from the exchange was more than 100G, same for the interconnects at LINX etc

    2. Avatar photo Matt says:

      This is the same regardless of where the contention happens within the netwrok. Spoiler: doesn’t have enough backhaul to give 100% of the connection speed to every customer, 100% of the time.

      They’ll be hoping that as its residential that you’ll not be maxing out 8gig 24/7/365, traffic is burstable by nature so you’ll fit multiple customers in the same backhaul capacity amount. Only time you’ll see a problem I guess will be a cluster of houses together, all on the 8gig package, all trying to max out a download or similar at exactly the same time. (e.g. a game release)

  6. Avatar photo Meadmodj says:

    Very interesting.

    Particularly that they project to be cash positive at 13-15% and their projected pricing.

    Not just a warning to OR and VM but an honest appraisal of Altnets.

    8 Gig allows bragging rights and easily accommodated within take-up

    1. Avatar photo Not rocket science but it is clever says:

      They run a lean ship and have minimised the spend of their (limited) capital because they have been smart and not fallen into the trap of trying to build a parallel duct infrastructure (like their compadres at G.network or even CityFibre) which is as we hopefully know now is ruinously expensive, time and resource intensive and ultimately if it only there to carry your own glass hugely wasteful.

      They also don’t have physical cabinets on the street or even their own FeX’s like CityFibre which need enormous capital to design, get through planning/approvals, build and then ultimately maintain.

      Instead they have embraced the ‘rental’ model and have cabinet space inside existing BT exchanges and have leveraged PIA to the max. Like every good disruptor they have also left not stone unturned to examine all their internal processes more efficient – all whilst deploying off the shelf components.

      It’s like Tesla building BEVs with readily available cylindrical cells. You don’t have to invent something brand new to be successful, but rather be novel and ruthlessly efficient in your technology deployment.

      This is why they can afford to have ‘only’ 15% conversion rates and still have enough capital survive and grow further.

  7. Avatar photo Portman says:

    So if the mathematics are correct you can install a 150 gigabyte game in under 3 minutes with this broadband?

    That’s insanity! Bet it costs an arm and a leg though. Maybe one day

    1. Avatar photo Jack says:

      8Gbps costs £99.99 which is a bargain especially when I think back to last year Zzoomm doing 2Gbps for £99.99

    2. Avatar photo BTMan says:

      I pay £60 a month to get 900 with BT!

    3. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      You might manage that on a PC with 10Gb ethernet, you won’t get that with any of the current generation consoles.

  8. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

    I would have thought would be the best way to let the commercial building programs get completed then target taxpayer subsidies at what’s leftover. It would also give time for the inevitable altnet consolidations to happen so we have a more stable situation to work with. Obviously it’s going to be hard luck on those waiting to be connected but someone always was going to be last to be connected anyway.

  9. Avatar photo YouFibreuser says:

    Openreach will need to roll out symmetrical to keep up with alnets. Very happy paying netomnia/youfibre 29 pcm for my 1gb/1gb. Its been very good…I’ll take the 8gb too if its offered lol 🙂
    I was with zen before on 900/100 at eye watering £45 pcm

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Believe they’re offering it everywhere on their network so when it’s released you should be good to go!

    2. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      Openreach’s 30+% take-up figure suggests that most aren’t fussed. Clive Selley has mentioned before that they are prioritising rollout over XGS PON and are coping with GPON fine for now.

    3. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      I’m pretty sure that BT would love to tell everyone that 900/115 is enough and sweat it for another 100 years. I remember them talking down FTTP for FTTC saying nobody would need over 80mbps even though most on FTTC are probably around 32mbps.

      Still, that’s why the ALTNETS are there to show them higher speeds can be done as now as they put in XGS-PON not continue with legacy GPON deployment. This helps bandwidth a lot.

      I expect BT will want a tax payer funded upgrade programme for XGS-PON 🙂 and then it’s still doubtful they would allow symmetric. They just love capping those speeds down….

    4. Avatar photo BTMan says:

      You would hope so I notice my FTTP line is synced at 1000mbps both ways according to my router

    5. Avatar photo It's Just Ethernet says:

      @BTMan your ‘line’ is undoubtedly the wired ethernet connection from your ONT to your router. This will always have a link rate of 1000 Mbps on a 1000 Mbps capable port. There is no concept of ‘sync’ speed. Its just a normal Ethernet port.

  10. Avatar photo NE555 says:

    > I expect BT will want a tax payer funded upgrade programme for XGS-PON

    No they won’t. It will happen commercially, as Cityfibre are doing, as and when the market requires.

    Nothing changes in the ground with XGS-PON: it’s the same fibres and the same splitters. It’s just an upgrade to the OLT in the exchange, and the ONT in those properties which take the faster services.

    > then it’s still doubtful they would allow symmetric

    Indeed. It’s all about market forces. If they can capture 90% of the demand with asymmetric services, whilst at the same time protecting their leased line revenue, of course they will do that.

    1. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Fully aware of XGS-PON and how it’s implemented.

      My comment still stands in my view. BT do the minimum, always has. The only reason they “capture” demand is because most people been with BT for years, whereas people with other providers aren’t so worried about switching providers process, and areas where you can only have BT FTTP.

      The ALTNETS are doing it properly though. Netomnia is just one example of symmetric and Cityfibre installs are now symmetric with conversion of older GPON going on. BT is a joke – they have no dates on when they will convert by, just loose statement of (endless) trials in some places. As I said, they will only change when ultimately people realise they can get faster from another provider and stability around ALTNETS is mature – they then leave and that is what will force BT to start doing an upgrade project lasting years…..

    2. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      BT Group have made it clear that their priority is rolling out FTTP physical infrastructure and that GPON meets the needs of capacity and speed for now. Their network is designed for multiple services in the future with WDM modules allowing XGS PON to be lit up without disruption.

      Switching to XGS PON has only been viable in recent years as the price of OLTs and ONTs has become much cheaper. Shifting the supply chain to XGS PON for the size of Openreach isn’t easy.

      As for doing altnets doing it “properly” go look at the poor quality roadworks and financial issues which plague many altnets. Netomnia are one of the few good ones.

      The mass exodus to altnets didn’t happen when the competition was VDSL, it wont happen when the competition is Openreach FTTP.

  11. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    Actually, pretty much embarrassing for the country’s biggest telecommunications company, that little upstart ALTNETS just wander in and do this stuff properly. Cityfibre started early in the game so fair enough GPON was expected, however they already have a plan for conversion of that deployment and new deployments are XGS-PON.

    1. Avatar photo Alex says:

      Yeah, they’re probably really embarrassed about building to 11 million homes and reaching 30%+ takeup already.

    2. Avatar photo anonymous says:

      Shame they just couldn’t do it properly then 😉

      They got there like I said previously, mainly BT historic privilege and where sole FTTP provider helping them.

    3. Avatar photo Jeremy says:

      Let’s be clear about the 30%…They are migrating from VDSL to FTTP which is much easier than acquiring new customers. They are currently losing customers for the records 😉

    4. Avatar photo Alex says:

      Nothing about being this industry is easy, apart from some people’s ability to be disrespectful!

      No secret Openreach will lose customers in all this. But they are ahead of everyone’s expectations on takeup and probably build rate given all the challenges faced.

    5. Avatar photo GreenLantern22 says:

      Alex I don’t see anything disrespectful and to be honest BT had been sleeping for years. If it wasn’t by the Altnets there will be no BT FTTP. But they are going to pay very heavily their short term thinking and there will have a much smaller market all the Altnet builds are completed. And they will also have a much more cut throat competitive market. Imagine where they will be if they would have innovated for real and started deploying fibre before anyone else? Altnets most likely wouldn’t exist and VM might be close to bankrupt. BT will be subject to their mistakes but I am actually happy they were lazy, now we get to have a real competitive market!

    6. Avatar photo Alex says:

      “Where would they be if they’d built FF before everyone else?”

      Regulated to oblivion is where.

  12. Avatar photo M says:

    Jeremy comes across as extremely credible, smart and sensible. I actually would chose him over Greg at CF and CS at openreach. Best interview of the series.

    1. Avatar photo Jeremy says:

      Thank you

    2. Avatar photo Alex says:


      M is Jeremy

    3. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      (Different Alex obviously)

      I don’t think that. I agree with M that he does come across as more genuine. I take Greg Mesch’s word with a grain of salt now following Cityfibre’s redundancies and contractor issues.

      The fact he’s interviewing with Zen is interesting, wonder about a possible Zen presence on Netomnia?

  13. Avatar photo Jonny says:

    Not sure I agree with his comments on BDUK – if a local authority asks the private builders if they are planning to build in a village and nobody replies to say they are, what’s the alternative to how things have been done over the last decade or so? It can’t be to leave areas on single digit megabit connectivity until the 2030s.

    1. Avatar photo Jeremy says:

      It is not how it works unfortunately.

    2. Avatar photo . says:

      It would be easier to take his comments seriously if Netomnia didn’t use government funding to build parts of their network

  14. Avatar photo Fromie says:

    I emailed Jeremy at youfibre about an ongoing issue I had with latency after failing to get support to deal with it.

    I was surprised to get a personal reply back and full credit to him in helping to get the problem resolved. Thoroughly helpful guy..

    1. Avatar photo Jeremy says:

      Thank you

  15. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

    Jeremy looks too buff to be working in the telco industry! What do you weight do you bench press?

    1. Avatar photo jeremy says:

      165kg 🙂

  16. Avatar photo Christian says:

    So, it seems they aren’t quite ready for prime time for this 8Gb service. They have no way to prove it’s actually capable at the customer edge. They use an EXFO EX10, which is basically a standalone speed test device. Didn’t work. They provide an Asus GT-AXE16000 for whatever reason. Then they claim “The router may not be able to show the full speeds as most routers are not built to record this with the asus at most would see about 4gb.”

    For the record, I have a static IP, and that in and of itself seems to be problematic. Not providing it on the onset, losing it when they move my service up. Losing it again the following day for…apparently, moving my service up yet again. Asking me to leave the ONT off for an HOUR for whatever reason to address this 8Gb issue, then de-provisioning the ONT in the process. They are putting the onus on me to prove out my setup when they have no ability to prove out the service is actually capable of it.

    It’s impossible to reach, through normal channels, anyone that can actually do anything or provide info.

    The on site team is great for the most part. No issues there. The first line support folks are limited at best and it seems a severe lack of communication within the support teams exists. They themselves say that. I don’t know what recent restructuring has occurred, but from a consumer perspective, I see no benefit.

    For the record, network engineer for 20+ years, so my views are biased with a different expectation of customer service and technical proficiency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

NOTE: Your comment may not appear instantly (it may take several hours) due to static caching or random moderation checks by the anti-spam system.
Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £17.00
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Zzoomm £19.95
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • YouFibre £19.99
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Community Fibre £20.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • BeFibre £21.00
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £25 Love2Shop Card
Large Availability | View All
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £17.99
    Speed 33Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo code: HYPERDEAL
  • UtilityWarehouse £21.60
    Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • Shell Energy £21.99
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £24.00
    Speed 63Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £24.00
    Speed 73 - 82Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Large Availability | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (5233)
  2. BT (3436)
  3. Politics (2435)
  4. Openreach (2241)
  5. Building Digital UK (2184)
  6. Business (2183)
  7. FTTC (2022)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1898)
  9. Statistics (1734)
  10. 4G (1603)
  11. Virgin Media (1535)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (1413)
  13. FTTH (1377)
  14. Wireless Internet (1361)
  15. Fibre Optic (1359)
  16. 5G (1179)
  17. Vodafone (1086)
  18. EE (1073)
  19. TalkTalk (908)
  20. Sky Broadband (876)
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact