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Quickline Win £44m South Yorkshire Gigabit Broadband Rollout Contract

Wednesday, Apr 10th, 2024 (12:02 am) - Score 1,040
Quickline-engineer-working-on-outside-wall-2024

The UK government’s £5bn Project Gigabit broadband rollout scheme has today awarded the £44m (state aid) regional contract for South Yorkshire (Lot 20) in England to ISP Quickline, which will aim to extend their 10Gbps capable full fibre (FTTP) network to as many as 32,100 additional premises in hard to reach rural areas.

The wider project aims to help 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: Nearly 82% of UK premises can already access gigabit speeds (up from over 72% at the end of 2022), which drops to around 65% when only looking at full fibre (up from 45%).

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, larger regional or major cross-regional contracts are awarded to network operators who can help to build their gigabit-capable infrastructure into the most challenging areas (final 20%).

The £44m South Yorkshire (Lot 20) rollout contract being announced today is expected to reach “up to32,100 premises, which will also extend into some rural parts of East Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire. The announcement follows only a few weeks after Quickline was also awarded a £60m Project Gigabit contract covering 29,000 rural premises in West Yorkshire and parts of North and East Yorkshire (here).

The new contract will see the connection of outlying communities situated around Barnsley, Doncaster, Epworth, Goole, Maltby, Penistone, Rotherham, Sheffield and Worksop. The announcement also states that, as part of complementary work, Quickline will now “connect a further 29,000 homes and businesses as part of its commercial network build“, albeit without saying precisely where.

Sean Royce, CEO at Quickline, said:

“We are incredibly proud to have been awarded a second Project Gigabit contract and one that is again in a very important area for us.

Our roots are in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and as a broadband provider we have a very strong regional focus. We employ people from Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, we deliver broadband to the people of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire and we want to play our part in the growth and economic development of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

Winning the contract for South Yorkshire, on the back of the one for West Yorkshire, reinforces the important role Quickline is playing in connecting hard-to-reach communities across the region, and our role in supporting the government in achieving its ambitions.”

Julia Lopez, Digital Infrastructure Minister, said:

“Thanks to Project Gigabit, thousands of rural homes and businesses across South Yorkshire will soon be able to access the fastest broadband speeds on the market. Today marks an important milestone in our drive to tackle poor connectivity in Yorkshire. From Barnsley to Doncaster, patchy connectivity will soon be a thing of the past and lightning-fast broadband will open up new opportunities, driving employment and economic growth.”

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).

Including its associated commercial fibre build and its current coverage, Quickline states that its full fibre footprint will now ensure over 200,000 deep rural premises are “taken out of broadband poverty” (as of November 2023, they’ve already covered 65,000 UK premises). This is said to be “in addition to another 200,000 rural premises able to connect to its next generation fixed wireless network“, which is a little odd as they’ve previously given a figure of 300,000 for their wireless network coverage

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.

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 (here)
Gigaclear for East Gloucestershire (Lot 18) in Feb 2024 (here)
➤ Wessex Internet for South Wiltshire (Lot 30) in Mar 2024 (here)
➤ Quickline for South Yorkshire (Lot 20) in Apr 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
3 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Paul T says:

    I posted about this on the 2/4, it was showing up on a site then when I googled about it :

    https://www.ispreview.co.uk/talk/threads/project-gigabit-south-yorkshire-lot-20.41537/

    There were also other contracts showing when I searched on “GIS Programme”

    🙂

  2. Avatar photo lamerrrrr says:

    Never mind the outskirts of Barnsley. can’t get chuff all smack bang in the middle of it! – You would have thought they would infill as well.

  3. Avatar photo Slartybartfast says:

    Wonder if they’ll do S74 area, as we have VM (yuck!) currently.

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