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Newcastle-under-Lyme Plans New 50km Full Fibre Network

Monday, Mar 11th, 2024 (5:10 pm) - Score 1,520
Fiber optics network cable on technology background

The Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council in Staffordshire (England) has announced a new project that will seek to build up to 50km of new gigabit-capable fibre broadband infrastructure to help connect local businesses, public sector and community sites in poorly served parts of the town centre.

At present, most of the town is already reached by Openreach and Virgin Media’s (VMO2) gigabit-capable broadband ISP networks, but some patches in the central area remain poorly served and that’s where the new network could help. This will benefit areas within the town that are not within the scope of digital upgrades from existing network providers.

The estimated cost of installing the new fibre network is £1.75m, which is said to be within the Town Deal allocation for this project. As the project cost is based on a per KM amount (plus contingency), the final cost will be determined by the length of fibre deployed, but will not exceed the Town Deal project budget available.

In return for its investment, the Council would get free access for a specified number of years (proposed as 15 years). The fibre deployed would be an open access network that would be accessible to others and provide the opportunity for further private sector investment into the business parks (i.e. there is potential for the Council to realise a modest revenue share from the transit fees charged).

Simon Tagg, Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, said:

“Up to 50km of fibre network will be laid in the Newcastle Town Deal area, bringing high-speed broadband to communities, homes and businesses neglected by the mainstream providers.

And we will base the ‘distribution hubs’ at community centres, which will provide free Wi-Fi for those with no or limited access to the internet.

In this day and age businesses, home workers and entrepreneurs need access to fast, reliable internet if we are to take advantage of the opportunities available in a digital world.”

The project is expected to cover multiple Wards that are within the Newcastle Town Deal boundary – Crackley and Red Street, Bradwell, Holditch and Chesterton, Wolstanton, Cross Heath, Knuttton, Silverdale, May Bank, Thistleberry Town Keele, Westlands, Clayton, Westbury Park, and Northwood Park. Many of the associated “distribution hubs” for this will be based at community centres, which should also help to provide opportunities for residents to be online and learn new skills.

The new fibre itself would be delivered through Openreach’s Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product (i.e. running new fibre via their existing cable ducts). The Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council is now looking for a provider to deliver the fibre connection as part of the local Town Deal.

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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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2 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Billy Shears says:

    Excuse me going off topic but am I the only one who found the recent Home Telecom five star review suspicious? And now there’s another. I predict more in the coming weeks.

  2. Avatar photo NE555 says:

    Sounds like an awesome deal. Council pays up-front for 15 years use of a dark fibre network out of taxpayer money, when within 3 years Openreach FTTP will likely pass most of these properties anyway.

    “In this day and age businesses, home workers and entrepreneurs need access to fast, reliable internet”

    Which this network doesn’t provide, unless you come to the library to do your work.

    It might enable “leased line” type services in the £150-£300 per month price range, if the network passes within about 100m of your property – but for most people, Starlink or 5G will be a more cost-effective stopgap measure.

Comments are closed

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