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Full Fibre UK ISP Truespeed Fined £34k for Sloppy Street Works UPDATE

Wednesday, Jan 3rd, 2024 (5:19 pm) - Score 3,720
Truespeed-Engineers-at-Work

Alternative network builder and ISP Truespeed, which has spent the past few years deploying their 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to homes in the South West of England, has reportedly been hit with £34,000 worth of fines and charges for roadworks offences in Somerset.

The operator’s rural full fibre network, which is mostly focused upon serving premises in parts of Devon, Wiltshire and Somerset in England, has so far covered 91,000 premises (RFS) and they’re home to over 17,000 customers (data from 15th August 2023).

NOTE: The operator is funded by a total investment of £175m from Aviva, some £134m of which has already been committed to physical builds.

Truespeed also previously held an “ambitious” overall target of reaching 500,000 properties by the end of 2026. But that may need to be updated after worsening market conditions meant they suffered both redundancies and a slowdown of their build toward the latter part of 2023 (here).

Unfortunately, the operator has now been hit by some more bad news after the Somerset Council prosecuted them for works carried out in Frome and Street during late July 2023. According to the construction index, Truespeed admitted 5 breaches of the New Roads and Street Works Act 1991 (under section 65) – primarily failing to install proper traffic management and guarding for excavated road surfaces to ensure the safety of pedestrians.

Simon Wall, Truespeed’s Chief Network Development Officer, said:

“Truespeed takes health and safety compliance very seriously. This work was carried out by a sub-contractor of Truespeed who were not following the proper procedures that we have in place. As a result, we have ceased all work with this contractor until such time they can demonstrate they are able to meet our health and safety standards.”

Taunton magistrates ultimately imposed fines totally £28,000, as well as costs of £4,277 and a victim surcharge of £2,000. The situation could have been worse, but the magistrates gave Truespeed credit for entering guilty pleas at the earliest opportunity and for showing remorse, as well as taking steps to both remedy the breaches and ensure compliance in the future.

UPDATE 4th Jan 2024 @ 7:14am

We’ve added a comment from Truespeed above.

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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 Big Dave says:

    As long as the contractors give a rock bottom price we’ll accept these fines as an occupational hazard seems to sum up the altnets attitude. Say the right thing and carry on as normal.

  2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    Should it not be the building contractors facing this fine. These companies always outsource the streetwork for their build and they did the shoddy work?
    For example in Newcastle Openreach and CityFibre seem to be using Kellys construction for their streetworks

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      The ISP wanted to do the street works and they made the request in their own name and thus they are liable.

      ISPs can have a contractual agreement with its contractors that legal costs, fines etc are passed into them if it’s been agreed that they are at fault but it still doesn’t absolve the ISP of the primary liability to the public (and the council).

    2. Avatar photo Farmer H says:

      The issue is that a lot of companies think like this. They think that by outsourcing work, they aren’t liable if something goes wrong and they can just pass on the blame. Many find out the hard way it doesn’t work like that.
      It’s the equivalent of you buying something from a shop that’s faulty and them telling you it’s not their problem and to go and deal with the manufacturer – You dealt with the shop, not the manufacturer, so they have to solve the problem.
      Truespeed’s build, Truespeed’s problem.

  3. Avatar photo Martyn says:

    I’m my street when city fibre was been planted a small group of navies were observed having a full on punch up which also included the customary colourful language, throwing cones buckets and barriers at each other some of which ended up in peoples gardens / properties. It went on for quite a while until they rounded the corner and slipped out of sight.

  4. Avatar photo NRSWA NED says:

    I’m sure that the work was not of an acceptable standard but Somerset have a history of being a very tough , set in their ways Highways Department much to many ISPs costs Gigaclear and Truespeed being the recent

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