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Job Cuts at Persimmon Homes Spread to UK Full Fibre ISP FibreNest UPDATE

Wednesday, Sep 13th, 2023 (8:28 am) - Score 5,096
Fibrenest uk isp logo

Broadband ISP FibreNest, which is the Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) operator for Persimmon Homes‘ new build UK housing sites, appears to have become the latest alternative network provider to suffer some redundancies. But in this case the reason isn’t quite the same as we’ve seen elsewhere, and the scale is smaller.

The network, which was started five years ago and is today available across several hundred UK locations (Persimmon’s new build developments), hasn’t furnished us with a progress update in the past year. But the last update in September 2022 revealed that they’d managed to sign-up 25,000 customers.

However, over the past few days and weeks we’ve seen a number of FibreNest’s staff report being made redundant, but this appears to be more a reflection of issues within the wider UK housing market – and at parent Persimmon Homes – than with the AltNet itself. The redundancies are also at a smaller scale than those recently observed at other alternative broadband networks, although exact figures are unclear.

Many alternative FTTP networks are currently experiencing a lot of strain and instability – due to rising build costs and competitive pressures, which can result in job losses as deployment plans evolve or slow. But in this case the main cause of FibreNest’s issues appear to stem from the downturn at Persimmon Homes.

Last month saw the UK’s largest housebuilder cut nearly 300 jobs as a result of weak housing demand – partly linked to the Government’s prior autumn mini-budget and the cost-of-living crisis, which forced Persimmon Homes to hunt for cost savings. Jobs are often one of the first areas to suffer (the house builder employs around 5,800 people), although at the time it wasn’t clear whether this would impact FibreNest too, but it has.

As a side note. FibreNest’s fastest package is still only a 500Mbps (50Mbps upload) tier, despite every other FTTP network deploying at least 1Gbps. We’ve asked Persimmon Homes for a comment and await their response.

UPDATE 5:04pm

We’ve had a statement from FibreNest.

A FibreNest spokesperson told ISPreview:

“We have taken the difficult decision to restructure operations to ensure we can continue to deliver the highest level of service for our customers.

A consultation process is ongoing which impacts a very small number of colleagues. We will be working closely with them throughout the process to ensure they are provided with all necessary support.”

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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18 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ivor says:

    Without casting any aspersions on the (now ex) staff, this has to be the most useless altnet out of all of them.

    New builds are overpriced and are already plagued with quality issues and “service charges” for things that the council would normally do in your council tax – but Persimmon seemed to think they could cream off even more by becoming your ISP too. I assume Openreach (beyond USO copper) and Virgin aren’t given a look in?

    I would personally never buy a new build that didn’t have Openreach FTTP at a minimum.

    1. Avatar photo Hooray! says:

      “New builds are overpriced”. Doesn’t that apply to all new builds though? Many people are fine with paying extra for a home which no one has lived in previously. As for snags, yeah Persimmon are arguably the worst for defects.

    2. Avatar photo Jason says:

      Yep ! im the same actually didnt buy the house i liked because i didnt want to be locked into this fibre company and not have any options .

  2. Avatar photo John says:

    “Last month saw the UK’s largest housebuilder cut nearly 300 jobs as a result of weak housing demand – partly linked to the Government’s prior autumn mini-budget”

    Can you explain why you believe that announcing tax cuts (not actually implementing them), causes weak housing demand?

    If anything it would be the exact opposite, had tax cuts been implemented (rather than just talked about) because people would have more money in their pockets, but let’s hear it

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You’re better off asking Persimmon as that was their excuse for the cuts.

    2. Avatar photo Smiff says:

      I’m trying to work out if this comment is disingenuous.

      Either way, there were several macroeconomic instabilities caused by the mini budget. The markets did not trust the funding of the cuts, and then the people running the shop when they backtracked, which increased UK Gov borrowing costs. The interest rate rise was probably the largest factor, which caused mortgage rates to increase and therefore weaken demand for houses as they become less affordable at the stated price point.

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      It was not under quotes so I wasn’t sure!

      The “markets” were already under “several macroeconomic instabilities” prior to the mini budget. For one, everyone was escaping to the dollar, clearly demonstrated by the fact that all the worlds major currencies were hitting major decade lows, including the euro which dropped down to $0.91 cents. Another fact is that the current numbers are WORSE than last autumn. And also pointing out the obvious that the mini budget announcement actually did not cut taxes, so it literally could not possibly have had any effect on the economy.

      You just ate up a made up lie that tax cuts are bad when they are what we need the most, especially during record taxation times. The many saying “dumb scot lady destroyed the economy” just eat up the news unconditionally and are unable of critical thought

      The PM does not control interest rates, the Bank of England does, and rather than coming to conclusion that the mass money printing should’ve been stopped several years ago, they are more worried about fake biology

    4. Avatar photo Declan M says:

      Barratt is the largest developer in the UK not Persimmon

  3. Avatar photo Vince says:

    Why doesn’t Persimmon offer 1 gig… because what are you gonna do about it, that’s why…

    If you’re using Fibrenest it is because there is absolutely no other choice. So they can do whatever they like.

    1. Avatar photo Paul says:

      What house needs a full 1Gig anyway, 200-300meg is more than enough for most.

    2. Avatar photo Blueacid says:

      @Paul – “Most” is not “all”. The point still stands; if you get a Persimmon house you’re stuck with fibrenest.
      If they don’t provide the service you need, you’re pretty much stuck, unless you use Starlink or 4G/5G.

      What if you need a Static IPv4 address & they don’t provide it? What if you find their service has poor performance to certain websites (perhaps a congested peering link?), what if you’re hoofing vast quantities of data around and really need 1Gbit symmetric (videographers, AI researchers, software developers, etc might well want “the fastest possible”).

  4. Avatar photo Ricky Marsh says:

    Everyone I know will be moving provider as soon as the roads on our new build are adopted. So if they have cut back on new build sales their captive subscribers will go down reducing there revenue more and most likely jobs.

    1. Avatar photo LPP says:

      The roads being adopted doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly get other providers. For example Openreach can’t use the Fibre nest ducts so would need to duct to every individual home that they know are already signed up to FTTP with an altnet. It’s very unlikely to happen.

  5. Avatar photo Name says:

    I can’t get FibreNest so can’t comment on them but I really like the look of the budget option at £14 for 10 Mbp/s if you know that you aren’t going to use much more bandwidth than that

  6. Avatar photo Richard says:

    I live on a Persimmon estate and despite badgering them endlessly to hook up our estate, after initial positive noises and them putting the wires in all over the estate and most of the way through the BT ducts to the next development that has Fibrenest, they just stopped with no real reason. They’re useless. They’ve a captive market as we’re stuck with FTTC and it’s super slow. Virgin have cabled the whole town except our estate as the roads aren’t adopted yet. BT won’t run fibre here for god knows how many years as the statuses barely change quarter to quarter. Argh.

    1. Avatar photo Name says:

      Try 4G/5G routers – unless you have crappy signal or latency is going to be an issue

  7. Avatar photo Oache says:

    The fact that Persimmon won’t let you go to another provider is totally false.
    Yes is written in their brochure “We have FibreNest” bla bla… but they are lying.The modem in the house if clearly owned by OFLN and if you do a search you can get 18 operators but they are pricy over speeds of 200MB starting at £40 for 300MB…

  8. Avatar photo AWFOC says:

    Another win for our customers

Comments are closed

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