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WightFibre Grow Isle of Wight FTTP Broadband to 57,000 Premises

Tuesday, Aug 8th, 2023 (5:10 pm) - Score 624
wightfibre_ftth_install_two_engineers

Infracapital-backed broadband ISP and AltNet WightFibre, which is deploying a new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across the Isle of Wight – just off the South Coast of Hampshire in England, has today issued their first coverage update in a long time and confirmed that they now cover 57,000 premises (up from 40,000 in July 2022).

The operator is currently investing £94 million to fuel their “Gigabit Island Project” to build a new full fibre broadband network, which previously aimed to cover around 78,000 homes and businesses – roughly 96% of all premises on the island – by the end of 2023 (they also previously expected to reach 60,000 by the end of 2022, but appear to be running a bit behind).

NOTE: Infracapital also owns or has stakes in Gigaclear, Neos Networks, Fibrus and Ogi.

Despite being delayed on their previous target(s), WightFibre does note that they’ve already laid cables to a further 10,000 homes, with service to those homes currently scheduled to become “available in the next eight months“. At that point the operator’s Gigabit Island Project will be nearing completion with over 560km of trenches dug to date out of an expected total of 600km.

To date, the UK government has also allocated £10m of public investment to WightFibre, via their Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS), for the Isle of Wight to extend coverage to 24,000 eligible premises in hard-to-reach places. Some of the locations benefitting from this include Haven Street, Wroxhall, Chale, and Mottistone. Service recently became available in Totland Bay, Freshwater Bay, Bembridge, Whitwell, Alverstone and St Helens.

John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre, said:

“Our new full-fibre, future-proof network is second to none on the planet and this, coupled with our very high levels of customer care, is giving customers what they want – fast reliable broadband that just works.”

Sir John Whittingdale, Minister Digital Infrastructure, said:

“Having a fast, reliable internet connection is vital for everything from staying in touch with friends and family to growing a local business. That’s why levelling up connectivity and delivering high-speed broadband to underserved areas is one of our top priorities.

I’m delighted tens of thousands of homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight will now be able to reap the benefits of high-speed connectivity, thanks to our £10 million investment in gigabit broadband vouchers.”

We suspect a number of other full fibre operators might have a bone to pick with that “second to none on the planet” claim (possibly second to none on much of the IoW), but we can’t blame them for being proud of the excellent network they’ve built. Residential customers tend to pay from just £25.95 per month for their 100Mbps (symmetric speed) package on a 1-month term with free installation, which rises to £49.95 for their top 900Mbps tier. The provider also offers a Social Tariff for those on state benefits that gives you 100Mbps for just £16.50.

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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
7 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Witchfibre says:

    Why hasn’t wight fibre covered my home??? It’s insane that these companies just can’t seem to cover the entire country!!! Why are they putting out these press releases if they haven’t even covered my home

    1. Avatar photo Wighty says:

      Do you actually live on the Isle of Wight?

  2. Avatar photo Kevin says:

    I am. Wightfibre customer on their 300mbit service and have been very pleased with it. Technically Wightfibre is very unusual for a U.K. altnet. It’s a point to point fibre network rather than the usual GPON. Very expensive to deploy in comparison to GPON but does easily deliver symmetrical services and is very upgradable. However as it’s so unusual the cost of the customer premise’s equipment is likely to go up significantly in future years and the vendor choice become more restricted. They have a good standard network with gold level costs to maintain into the future

    1. Avatar photo John Irvine says:

      Kevin,
      I’d contest that assertion. Whilst PtP is uncommon in the UK it is common in in the Nordics and in Asia. CPE costs should not be a problem. The cost differential between deploying PtP and GPON was only a few per cent with substantial savings to be had in the long term future from a fibre rich deployment.

  3. Avatar photo John Irvine says:

    @Mark Jackson. Isle of *Wight* in the headline?

  4. Avatar photo Packet Switched says:

    65,000 is about the number of domestic properties/households/dwellings in the Isle of Wight.

    57,000 connections total to Wight Fibre obviously does not indicate how many commercial properties but it looks as if they could quite possibly have half or more of all the houses on the island on their network

    Are there any figures for how connnections to retailers, offices, etc Wight Fibre have or any rules of thumb fro what proportion could be expected.

    They are covering a very distinct and definable area but their network semms to be surprisingly comprarable to Broadband for the Rural North, remarkably high capacity – indeed maintainably or enhanceably so – and excellent value.

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