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Nexfibre Publish Q1 2024 UK Full Fibre Broadband Build Update

Friday, Feb 23rd, 2024 (10:21 am) - Score 5,040
Bundle of optical fibers with lights in the ends. Blue background.

Network operator nexfibre, which shares the same parentage as Virgin Media (VMO2), has this morning published a new quarterly (Q1 2024) progress update on their work to deploy a new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / XGS-PON) broadband ISP network across up to 7 million UK premises.

Just to recap. Telefónica, Liberty Global and InfraVia Capital Partners setup the new £4.5bn joint venture in 2022 (here), which aims to deploy an open access full fibre (FTTP) network to reach “up to” 7 million UK homes (starting with 5m by 2026) in areas NOT served by Virgin Media’s own network of 16m+ premises. The funding reflects £3.3bn of fully underwritten financing and up to £1.4bn in equity commitments.

NOTE: Virgin Media is currently the only ISP on the network via an “exclusive partnership” (here), but they plan to add more ISPs via wholesale in the near future (here). Virgin Media’s own network will shortly also open up to wholesale via NetCo (here).

The operator has already deployed their network to cover around 800,000 premises (Dec 2023), which doesn’t yet include last year’s acquisition of Upp and its c.175,000 premises, and they’re in the process of investing another £1bn this year – this should help them to cover an additional 1 million UK premises (on top of their existing coverage).

The next rollout stage being announced today will see nexfibre deliver widespread coverage across parts of Lincolnshire, Durham, Cheshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, as well as Kent and Buckinghamshire. Wales and Scotland are also particular areas of focus, with new areas announced in this release including Annan, Auchterarder, and Biggar.

The latest report sets out the existing footprint, current activity in-quarter and locations planned for 2024, as well as a map, outlining the continued expansion of their network.

Rajiv Datta, CEO of nexfibre, said:

“Our latest rollout update outlines the remarkable progress we’ve made; we are on track to build more than any other competitive fibre network this year (aside from the incumbent). Our aim is not just to transform access to full fibre broadband; but also to provide lasting national-scale competition in the full fibre market across the UK. We are here to be the sustainable catalyst that is required to drive progress and innovation, and in doing so stoke the growth the UK economy needs.

Our focus from here is on ramping up our rollout and actively working with growth-focused ISPs – that prioritise quality, stability, and customer service – and onboarding them to our network. We’ve made a good start, and remain focused on boosting our presence in the market in the coming months.”

Sadly, nexfibre doesn’t tend to provide a neat spreadsheet style table to highlight new additions to their build plan (at least not one we can easily paste), although they do provide something similar via their latest Q1 2024 Rollout Update (PDF). As usual, we’ve also copied their latest coverage map below.

Nexfibre UK FTTP Build Update for Q1 2024

Nexfibre-UK-FTTP-Build-Map-for-Q1-2024

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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
37 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Jonathan says:

    Any ideas when VM’s XGS-PON network will be available to order?

    1. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

      Good question, waiting for my street to be activated too since the pavement was dug up last year…

  2. Avatar photo Matt says:

    The updated map seems to be a little clearer, you can zoom in and just make out towns and cities now!

    Weirdly, I seem to be in a green shaded area, although some of the green includes streets that have Virgin FTTP bizarrely, but I don’t.

    They are working around an estate about 2 miles away so it will be interesting to see what happens…

    1. Avatar photo Network Nemesis says:

      Any Virgin Media NetEx, that was XGS-PON built by VM, had been transferred to NexFibre.

      Also the NexFibre build is being built by VM , maintained by VM and all the street furniture will be badged VM

    2. Avatar photo Matt says:

      I have a feeling the Virgin FTTP I’m referring to is RFoG which I’m assuming isn’t 10gig capable?

      If so, Nexfibre might be upgrading the network in those areas as well as expanding it to missed postcodes as it’s easier to upgrade than HFC.

    3. Avatar photo Christopher Baker says:

      RFoG Can’t even do 100mbs upload fully… its rubbish…

  3. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    Anyway you can see a better planned rollout map than that one? That map they offer is utterly useless. I am not sure how they think anyone will find that map helpful

  4. Avatar photo Iain says:

    Looks like they’ll shortly be infilling coverage gaps, in existing Virgin Media areas. At least, they’ve got both Glasgow and Edinburgh listed as in the next three months of their plans.

    1. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

      Yes. There’s been a lot of new housing built in Edinburgh since Telewest largely much finished expanding the network in the early 2000s. As you mention though, there were quite a number of areas that were missed out. Craiglockhart being a good example. Perhaps they may even look at rolling out in areas like Dalmeny and old parts of South Queensferry and Ratho.

    2. Avatar photo Iain says:

      Thanks for the detail, yeehaa. Fingers crossed for folks.

  5. Avatar photo NoFibreHere says:

    Still nothing for my town 🙁

    1. Avatar photo Sonic says:

      Same. Wasn’t expecting anything tbh. Oh well.

  6. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Shifnal is on the list! Shrewsbury on the list! Bridgnorth on the list! Broseley on the list! but…they snub Telford! But, I don’t care to be honest – never will join VM!

  7. Avatar photo John says:

    That’s an insane amount of overbuild

    1. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

      Overbuilding what?

      Openreach plan to build FTTP to 85% of UK premises by 2026 and up to 97% by 2030. It’s getting increasingly difficult to avoid overbuild.

    2. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      Exactly as the above response.

      The major players are going to want almost full coverage, so they’ll each overbuild eachother.

      It only really becomes an issue when the altnets overbuild eachother since it’s absolutely unrealistic to expect more than one regional/national altnet to survive alongside OR and VMO2.

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      Altnets can do fine since most have good pricing, many are actually achieving well more than 30% takeup. The loss will be on “the major players” who have to compete on the scraps, especially in the areas where alts are established. They are bleeding customers and yet the shills still come in force

    4. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      Please provide a list of any altnet that has a take up rate above 30%…

      B4RN are most likely the only one.

    5. Avatar photo John says:

      This website frequently published articles of good take ups. I remember City Fibre bragging about 30% takeup in Milton Keynes and Fibrus with good customer numbers. Netomnia also went on the other guys podcast saying they just need a percentage in the teens to operate. Most alts get at least 10% in one year

    6. Avatar photo graham says:

      @winston smith

      thought it was 99% for openreach by 2030?

    7. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      @John City Fibre take-up 11% as of 24/01/2024.

      Having 30%+ take-up in one village means nothing for the survivability of an altnet

      Considering that City Fibre is the largest of the altnets, one would hope that it would be the one that survives alongside OR and VMO2.

      Besides, if two altnets overlap and get 30%+ take-up in an area, it’ll only ever be an isolated occurrence. Over a wider area they’d still be forced into consolidation.

      No-one is doubting that OR will lose a significant chunk of market share. However, it won’t lose anywhere near enough to no longer be by far the biggest player still.

  8. Avatar photo EastLdner says:

    Arrgh, Tower Hamlets was in the list last quarter, and now completed. But now I’ve realised it might refer to Tower Hamlets in Dover and not the London Borough. Another few years of pain 🙁

    Think the link to the update might change. They’ve named their report Q4 2024…

  9. Avatar photo Schneider says:

    That map is useless! Can’t see anything in detail/make out my area. Zoomed in as far as I could go and still cant see anything. Good news mind you.

  10. Avatar photo Duncan says:

    So can someone explain the green areas? Isn’t that meant to be the areas they already have footprint in?

    If that’s the case, it isn’t as extensive as the shaded areas show, or is that coverage when the shade is fully finished as in current work in progress?

    1. Avatar photo Andrew Ferguson says:

      They are shading something that approaches local authority boundaries or some other polygon rather than drawing a boundary around addresses that can order. Hence why NI areas are so large.

    2. Avatar photo Duncan says:

      Helpful! But if you currently have no Virgin footprint but are shaded green, they might be coming to you?

      It’s no different to other maps where they highlighted an exchange with a polygon, and everyone thought if their address was coloured they would be getting it and they didn’t. Netomnia come to mind.

  11. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

    The map seems a bit off. For example it has Selkirk in the Scottish Borders listed as part of their build, but it isn’t highlighted on the map.

    I find it’s a bit odd that Nexfibre are going to built in Selkirk but not Galashiels first. Perhaps Gala is already planned as VM build? Or perhaps, it’s going to be a staging post like Arbroath was in Angus before expanding into the rest of the county on the way up to Aberdeen. Interestingly no new work has commenced in Angus since the Arbroath build was completed.

  12. Avatar photo Anon says:

    They really could do with an interactive map on their website. They clearly have the capability to produce this one.

  13. Avatar photo Jeremy says:

    “The only provider of scale delivering XGS-PON only” -> Except Netomnia with 850k 🙂

    1. Avatar photo Notomnia says:

      The vast majority of what Netomnia have built is on Openreach PIA so technically they are overbuilding Openreach, and they won’t dig anywhere there’s no easy way to get to a street so they cant even build the whole towns they go to, leaving some customers with no choice until a major builder come along. But let’s not let that spoil a good story, eh?

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      Just because openreach has PIA there, it does not mean there’s fibre. By that logic there’s no point competing with openreach since they are everywhere

    3. Avatar photo FibreEng says:

      All of nexfibre builds are PIA too with minimal self dig.

    4. Avatar photo Cognizant says:

      Indeed, by that logic then there’s no point anyone building anything because most alternative providers will be using the exact same approach.

    5. Avatar photo Sam says:

      Not even openreach deploys where they have to dig. There was an article about them last month in Southport cutting corners by using poles rather than digging

  14. Avatar photo BigJohnny says:

    Well, BIDB.uk is showing lots of nexfibre roadworks over the next few weeks in my town. Roadworks start from the 7th March and go till around June time. Openreach just went live with my address yesterday and Swish fibre was poking around here a couple of months ago but has now seemingly gone quiet. The Swishfibre rollout document hasn’t been updated since June 2023 so hard to tell what they’re up to if anything. There are also rumours of BRSK extending from the Burnley area to my area also.

    Went from having no FTTP availability to having potential the choice of 4 providers in the future.

  15. Avatar photo Not a fan says:

    Cityfibre are boosting their numbers by offering financial incentives for certain suppliers to move customers from Openreach FTTP, to their own. It’s a real headache as many customers feel they get superior service from Openreach and as former tech support for one of these companies, Openreach engineer booking is a lot slicker. Line test, book engineer. CF, fill in a form on a website, fill in the same details on a spreadsheet and then wait several hours for them to tell you whether or not it goes to an engineer and then wait for their outsourced engineers to contact the customer to tell them when their visit will be. Raise a fault on Friday and the engineers won’t contact the customer till Monday with the earliest visit likely to be Tuesday..

  16. Avatar photo Rik says:

    I’m in Skem (Skelmersdale) and we were promised CityFibre would be rolling out. That was 3 or 4 years ago and we still haven’t seen anything of them or their contractors..

    Openreach are only putting FTTP in the new build estates but surprisingly, the local council still own council houses and are even building new council housing estates under their company, Tawd Valley Developments. Openreach haven’t given them FTTP.

    BeFibre are slowly rolling out but after lengthy discussions I discovered they’re only pole or duct sharing with Openreach which leaves out large parts of the town where the phone lines were buried in the ground, without ducting.

    Nexfibre are all over the place. Check bidb.uk and see how their plans have grown massively over the last three weeks. My estate already has them working away and just last week, the front of my house was added to their install plans. It’s great to see this overlooked town, the largest in West Lancashire, finally getting some love from the communication providers.

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