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Quickline Win GBP60m Yorkshire UK Gigabit Broadband Rollout Contract UPDATE

Thursday, Feb 22nd, 2024 (12:02 am) - Score 1,600
Quickline-Engineer-Outside-Van-2023

The Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit broadband rollout scheme has today awarded the £60m (state aid) regional contract for West Yorkshire, parts of North Yorkshire and East Riding in England to UK ISP Quickline, which will aim to extend their full fibre network to “around” 28,000 additional premises in hard to reach rural areas.

The project aims to extend 1Gbps (download) capable networks to reach at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025, before aiming to achieve “nationwide” coverage (c. 99%) by 2030 (here). Commercial investment is expected to deliver more than 80% of this, which leaves the government’s scheme to focus on tackling the final 20% (mostly rural and some sub-urban areas), where the private sector alone often fails. The project is technology neutral, but Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks are strongly favoured.

NOTE: Over 80% of UK premises can already access gigabit speeds (up from over 72% at the end of 2022), which drops to 60%+ when only looking at full fibre (up from 45%) – detail.

The project uses a number of different methods to tackle this challenge (e.g. vouches and investment in dark fibre builds), but the largest part of the scheme involves a gap-funded subsidy approach – the Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy (GIS). This is where smaller local or larger regional contracts are awarded to network operators and ISPs who can help to build their gigabit-capable infrastructure across the final 20%.

The West Yorkshire and York Area (Lot 8) rollout contract being announced today is expected to reach around 28,000 premises, including rural areas surrounding Selby, York, Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds, Wakefield, Harrogate, Skipton and Ripon, Keighley, Calder Valley, Stamford Bridge and Pocklington. In fact, we’re told that Quickline has already started work to connect these rural communities.

However, there’s no mention of any timescales for completion, which has become a common problem with recent contract announcements.

Digital Infrastructure Minister, Julia Lopez, said:

“We’ve hit a huge milestone in connecting a million homes and businesses in hard-to-reach communities across the country to fast, reliable broadband.

In a major boost for Yorkshire, Quickline can now get started on work to connect communities in rural areas in many parts of the county, improving lives for residents, helping businesses grow and supporting the economy.”

CEO at Quickline, Sean Royce, said:

“We are extremely proud to be chosen as a delivery partner to the government for rural connectivity. Our mission at Quickline is to connect the unconnected to a world of possibilities by building a fast and reliable broadband network for rural communities.

Project Gigabit is transformational and we are thrilled to play our part in changing the lives of people living in rural West Yorkshire.

But this is about more than just broadband; we’re passionate about supporting rural communities, driving economic growth, creating jobs and helping to build the future digital workforce. We recognise the importance of aligning industry, primary schools, communities, parents, and higher and further education to ensure future skills meet future needs, and we want to inspire and energise the next generation.”

Quickline itself is currently being supported by funding of around £500m from Northleaf Capital Partners. The provider holds an aspiration to cover 500,000 premises in rural and semi-rural areas across North East England with “ultrafast broadband” via both FTTP and their 5G based fixed wireless technology “by 2025” (here). Some 300,000 of that figure are already being reached by their wireless network, while their full fibre lines currently cover 65,000 UK premises (Nov 2023), which is up from 10,000 at the end of 2022.

Residential customers reached by their new full fibre network are typically charged from £29 per month on a 24-month term for 100Mbps (50Mbps upload) speeds with free installation, and that goes up to £49 for their top 900Mbps (450Mbps upload) tier. The first 3 months of service are also free.

UPDATE 7:08am

Quickline has now put out its own press release, which notes that the provider will also make further private investment alongside Project Gigabit to roll-out its full fibre network to an additional 58,000 premises. This broadly reflects the usual additionality (i.e. separately expanding coverage out via commercial investment, based on the same geographic areas passed using public investment).

The release also clarifies where their work on the new contract has already begun: “Work is already underway in the region with Quickline’s engineers installing a network in the village of Skelmanthorpe, near Huddersfield, in West Yorkshire, with connectivity to the first 300 premises due in the coming months.”

Project Gigabit GIS Contract Awards History
Wessex Internet for North Dorset (Lot 14.01) in August 2022 (here)
➤ GoFibre for Teesdale (Lot 4.01) in September 2022 (here)
➤ GoFibre for North Northumberland (Lot 34.01) in October 2022 (here)
Fibrus for Cumbria (Lot 28) in November 2022 (here)
➤ Wildanet for Central Cornwall (Lot 32.03) and South West Cornwall (Lot 32.02) in January 2023 (here)
CityFibre for Cambridgeshire (Lot 5) in March 2023 (here)
Wessex Internet for the New Forest (Lot 27.01) in April 2023 (here)
➤ Freedom Fibre for North Shropshire (Lot 25.02) in May 2023 (here)
CityFibre for Norfolk (Lot 7), Suffolk (Lot 2) and Hampshire (Lot 27) in July 2023 (here)
Gigaclear for South Oxfordshire (Lot 13.01) and North Oxfordshire (Lot 13.02) in Nov 2023 (here)
➤ Connect Fibre for North East Staffordshire (Lot 19.01) in Nov 2023 (here)
➤ Connect Fibre for Derbyshire (Lot 3) in Dec 2023 (here)
➤ CityFibre for Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire & East Berkshire (Lot 26), Leicestershire & Warwickshire (Lot 11), West & East Sussex (Lot 16 & 1), Kent (Lot 29) and Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes (Lot 12) in Feb 2024 (here)
Connexin for Nottinghamshire & West Lincolnshire (Lot 10) in Feb 2024 (here)
➤ Quickline for West Yorkshire and York Area (Lot 8) in Feb 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
2 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew Archer says:

    I wouldn’t award then anything. They won’t install fibre to my house even thought it’s at the end of my drive. The ceo says he would get back to me but just ignores my messages. Very disappointed

    1. Avatar photo NoFTTPFromAnyone says:

      Same here. They seem to be rolling out full fibre to all the small villages across the county yet they won’t consider bringing full fibre to my town even though 3 miles up the road they can get it.

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