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Virgin Media O2 Linked Nexfibre Publish UK Full Fibre Rollout Plan

Tuesday, Nov 7th, 2023 (1:03 pm) - Score 11,200
Virgin-Media-O2-Engineer-Looking-at-Diagram

Network operator nexfibre, which holds a wholesale partnership with Virgin Media (VMO2) to deploy a new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across up to 7 million UK premises, has today published its first “nationwide rollout plan” for 2024 – listing the first large batch of planned locations.

Just to recap. Virgin Media completed their own network expansion at the end of 2022 (16.1+ million UK homes serviceable). Since then the vast majority of new XGS-PON powered FTTP broadband build has come under nexfibre‘s new wholesale network, which is a closely linked joint venture company that was established in 2022 by Telefónica, Liberty Global and InfraVia Capital Partners (here).

NOTE: Virgin remains nexfibre’s only anchor tenant ISP, but that may change as coverage grows.

Nexfibre’s £4.5bn aspiration (£1.4bn in equity and £3.1bn in debt) is to expand full fibre to reach “up to” 7 million additional UK homes – staring with 5m by 2026, which focuses on those homes not currently served by Virgin Media). In theory, this could push the combined VMO2 and nexfibre footprint to around 80% of UK premises by 2028 (up to 23 million premises), which is close to Openreach‘s goal (i.e. 25 million by Dec 2026).

So far nexfibre has already built their network to cover around 560,000 premises (excluding the recent acquisition of Upp and its c.175k). But one glaring oversight has been the lack of a solid deployment plan to help consumers understand whether they’re going to benefit from the build, which is something that the operator has today moved to tackle.

Nexfibre’s 2023 to 2024 Build Plan

The new plan reveals both the operator’s existing locations (excluding Virgin Media’s separate network) and all those they plan to add through the next 12-month period (2023-2024). A significant level of coverage and focus in this plan seems to be directed toward parts of Cheshire, Kent and Durham in England, with Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also seeing plenty of activity. Download the plan here. By the sounds of it, we can also expect quarterly updates going forward.

Rajiv Datta, Chief Executive Officer of nexfibre, said:

“I could not be prouder of the progress that has been made in ramping up our build programme this year; thanks to the huge efforts of our team and our partners at Virgin Media O2. We continue to accelerate the pace of build as we pursue our mission of transforming access to quality broadband across the UK.

We believe strongly in the quality and capability of our network, and the lasting value it can create in communities across the country. By increasing choice for ISPs, and boosting competition, we are playing a key role in closing the digital divide.”

At the time of writing Nexfibre has not yet provided the list of build locations in a spreadsheet or similar format (it’s embedded in their PDF), which makes it a bit tricky to extract and summarise. But we have published the rough map they included below and the download link for the full plan can be found above. Overall, this is a most welcome development and we look forward to seeing future updates.

Nexfibre’s UK FTTP Build Plan for 2024

Nexfibre-UK-FTTP-Build-Map-for-2023-to-2024

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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
40 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

    Saw VM surveying my road in the So45 area of New Forest/Southampton a month or so back. Been expecting them to announce my area soon. Lots of over build though (Trooli/Giganet) but given nether have rolled out fully to my road yet any extra build is good.

    1. Avatar photo Cheesemp says:

      So Hythe is on the list but is that Hythe Hampshire or Hythe Kent? The map is low res so impossible to tell but looks like its Hampshire. Am going to go from zero Fiber providers to 2 or 3 with in a year…

    2. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      And of course Winchester is not on the list because why would you roll out fibre to a city that has zero providers when you can overbuild other locations that have 2 or 3 existing operators?

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Winchester has almost ubiquitous cable coverage. The upgrade of cable to full fibre is not part of the Nexfibre build, it’s a VMO2 programme. The small levels of infill to plug gaps in the cable coverage aren’t announced as part of Nexfibre build either.

    4. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      It’s nowhere close to ubiquitous. Cable only serves around 54% of properties in Winchester.

    5. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Interesting. Looks busy on the maps. Guess they’re deceptive.

      Across the district cable coverage 36.3%, being caught up rapidly by FTTP coverage which has reached 28.2% and will overtake next year. Better FTTP coverage than a Warwick but not great, as probably expected for an R-50 authority.

      Cathedral city that looks more like an older, conserved large market town with rural surroundings. Last I looked the Openreach duct and pole network there wasn’t great but wasn’t awful. I know an altnet looked at the city but declined as Giganet are building there and Openreach are showing signs of stirring.

      Perhaps, then, Winchester is just too expensive to be in the program right now? How much conservation area? New all-OFNL estates are they available for digging? Why wasn’t the other stuff built in the first place, same reasons may apply, etc.

      Hope Giganet get to you soon.

  2. Avatar photo Chris Meilak says:

    Interesting, Nexfibre have installed a main fibre cab in my village (Marston Moretaine) which is powered up, no other build activity going on and also not listed on the roll out plan. There is also roadworks listed under Nexfibre in Cranfield, thats also not on the rollout

  3. Avatar photo Tempest3K says:

    I think someone chopped a row off the last table – BIDB show nexfibre deploying in parts of York, but missing off the list….

    1. Avatar photo Chayne says:

      Couple area’s have been chopped off the list compared to what has been highlighted on the map

  4. Avatar photo x_term says:

    Nexfibre is also busy in my area of London where DOCSIS coverage was quite patchy (Catford/Sydenham). They finished my street in 3 days using (at least from the excavation works signs) Openreach’s ducts and then getting out of the manholes in their own new duct to the houses. No coverage yet but interesting to note.

  5. Avatar photo Jonny says:

    Are there any signs of them getting a wholesale customer that isn’t Virgin Media?

  6. Avatar photo Jordan says:

    anyway to zoom into this map to see each locationwithout it getting blurry ?

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      Yea need a higher res image.

    2. Avatar photo Jim Gayes says:

      +1 on this request

  7. Avatar photo Alastair says:

    Build is well underway in Cleveleys but shows as 2024, looks like they’re ahead of this plan which is a refreshing change from the usual!

  8. Avatar photo XGS says:

    Outstanding that they’re publishing now. Secrecy brought them little value and cost them in folks recontracting before they got there.

  9. Avatar photo Mike says:

    Their map is pretty useless , at least with the Openreach map you can zoom in.
    Not sure about the 2024 timeframe , fibre cabinets were installed six months ago in parts of south Liverpool….awaiting deployment?

    1. Avatar photo Alex A says:

      The list is in the deployment PDF linked. The map is just a visualisation of this, it offers no more detail.

  10. Avatar photo Matt says:

    So what’s the green areas? I assume it’s not actual Virgin footprint? It says current on one of the keys, but the shaded area isn’t Nexfibre to my knowledge.

    1. Avatar photo Nick says:

      It’s a shame we can’t zoom in on the green areas to get a street view of the shaded colour!

  11. Avatar photo BB says:

    Some new VM Builds in the last 4yr are not included on this which is a shame 🙁

    1. Avatar photo Declan McGuinness says:

      Yes I see that Penicuik and Tranent both recently covered by Virgin FTTP in the last 3/4 years

  12. Avatar photo anon says:

    yay not included again

  13. Avatar photo FibreEng says:

    Can’t see my town in the list but they’ve got sub contractors doing PIA work all over the place.

  14. Avatar photo Paul says:

    Typical that my area is never in the builds. North of Scotland is always the last to get everything.

  15. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Telford are excluded – not surprising me really.

  16. Avatar photo Karen says:

    Town being built but not on plan. They dug up pavements added new boxes in the pavement and put in the fibre in 3 months ago. Then nothing, and not in plan. So perhaps they have given up

  17. Avatar photo Ims says:

    I can see the London Borough I live in the list in the next 3 months :-). I also saw Nexfibre work on my road pulling cables through OR ducts over many nights a while back, so that’s starting to make sense. We have a lot of Community Fibre builds around me but they haven’t reached my area within the borough.

    My house wasn’t covered by VM before, but it has me wondering if my home will be covered by their works or if they’re looking to only upgrade existing DOCSIS lines as I know there’s like a single street nearby round the corner that has VM.

    1. Avatar photo Obi says:

      In a similar situation to you. VM already has a decent presence around my area, and CF are building. Hope we are both in scope

  18. Avatar photo Gig says:

    ROFL, Wandsworth is going from no FTTP at all a year ago to now having up to three providers to choose from. How is this a good use of money, shouldn’t they spend the money for people that can’t already get it?

  19. Avatar photo Bob says:

    Is going from 0.5M to 5M in 2 years realistic?

    If you want to try to analyse the data it is quite easy to get the tables from the pdf into Excel

    1. Avatar photo Roger_Gooner says:

      nexfibre has gone from 0 to 560,000 premises covered in 2023 and will need to build about 1.4m per year until 2026 to meet its target of 5m. It might be done bearing in mind that PIA is used whenever it makes sense and the network is close to – and is being connected to – VM’s XGS-PON that is being rolled out under project Mustang.

  20. Avatar photo Jack says:

    My area appears to be in one of the green blobs although it’s hard to be 100% accurate considering the map.

    I’m in the middle of two Virgin areas with me being missed in the middle. No apparent work at the moment so time will tell.

  21. Avatar photo anonymous says:

    Is this list existing VM FTTP areas and new areas only then?

    Surprised Dover and surrounding wasn’t in the list, yet Netomnia have done parts and BT Openreach currently going at fast pace deploying FTTP right now. You’d think Virgin would be wanting to get to those Netomnia areas where Netomnia couldn’t be bothered to do, as well as the other parts where they could lose VM HFC customers to BT now that BT are doing widespread deployment.

  22. Avatar photo GG says:

    They’ve already installed the new smaller cabs and started hooking them up round here. There’s bundles of fibre dangling from many OR posts too. We’re not listed at all on that plan.

    1. Avatar photo Duncan says:

      Are their cabs white like VM or green? Can customers add TV normally like you can with Virgin or is the stream service the only option?

    2. Avatar photo GG says:

      Don’t think we’re at that stage for ordering as it’s not live/available yet. The new cabs are small and green – think of a box big enough to house a fire extinguisher but enlarged 50% and you’re about there. There’s a photo floating around the forums somewhere. Most are next to the existing large cabs, though some are stand-alone, presumably above the existing VM trenches.
      I did notice around when this kicked off, my latency improved on my old cable line, not sure if it’s related to new backend or just coincidence.

  23. Avatar photo Dean says:

    They’ve rolled out XPS-PON in our area (M31) – Took them around a year from the first signs of work to it being available for order on their website. OpenReach were also building out their FTTP network at the time and that finished and became available before VM. Feel like I got a good deal for 900Mb @ £38 with Vodafone. Had two knocks on the door so far from VM representatives telling me they’ve gone live and if I’d be interested in signing up, telling me it’s the next gen network and better than BT’s due to it being 10Gb capable. Told them I wasn’t interested until they offer more than Gig1 and pricing is competitive. EE are taking the £$%£ with their 1.6Gb offering at £80, interesting to see what happens over the next few years.

    1. Avatar photo Mark says:

      Has the same in my area NR32

      loverly sales rep called Adam knocked at my door

      got GIG1 broadband with Wi-Fi Guarente £35 a month

  24. Avatar photo Leo says:

    What about the Newcastle Upon Tyne Area (Biker)? It hasn’t been inserted in VirginMedia’s plans for FTTP yet…

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