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NextGenUs Invests GBP10 Million in UK Community Driven Superfast Broadband

Posted: 09th May, 2011 By: MarkJ
uknextgenus community broadband ukNextGenUs ( Fibrestream ), a specialist in deploying community interest driven superfast fibre optic ( FTTH ) internet access services, has moved to challenge BT by announcing its own private investment of £10 Million to help improve the country's rural broadband prospects. Some 10,000 households and businesses could stand to benefit and without any public subsidy from the government.

The NextGenUs approach typically offers local communities a future-proof fibre optic based Fibre-to-the-Home ( FTTH ) broadband ISP network, which can deliver speeds of up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps); they call this the "4th Utility". Crucially their service doesn't involve even one penny of Taxpayers Money and a minimum of 65% of surplus is usually returned to the community.

Unlike other projects, NextGenUs is able to make its money go further by getting the local community directly involved in the services rollout and management (e.g. asking locals to help dig the trenches for their fibre optic cable). This works particularly well in the remotest rural locations.

Guy Jarvis, CEO of NextGenUs, said:

"The NextGenUs Beyond Infinity competition is now open and up to 10,000 households and businesses will benefit from this £10Million investment phase alone. This is real money on the table, unlike the kind of “Race to Infinity” marketing exercise promoted by BT. NextGenUs will invest in those communities who demonstrate demand and their determination for change."

The programme, which is called 'Beyond Infinity' (a clear reference to BT's slower 'up to' 40Mbps FTTC powered 'BT Infinity' broadband packages), will be led by Fujikura's AFL Telecommunications. AFL acts as both a specialist in manufacturing fibre optic networking kit and as a service provider for the ISP industry.

Much like BT's recent 'Race to Infinity' campaign, interested local communities have been asked to register their interest first. It's unclear how many people within a community will need to express an interest before NextGenUs takes a look, although each area is likely to face its own unique challenges and costs. However they have already managed to connect several extremely small villages.

Simon Davison, NextGenUs's Technical Director, said:

"NextGenUs aims to quadruple BT’s meagre performance and looks to deliver 24 communities with truly future proof telecommunications ready for the next century.

NextGenus does not recognise the sticking plaster solutions to NGA services delivered over copper infrastructure being touted by BT. We understand that to be European leaders in broadband delivery the UK must throw off the legacy copper networks to deliver the UK knowledge economy."

NextGenUs and Fibrestream have so far managed to successfully deploy almost identical services in a number of rural locations, such as Newton on Rawcliffe and Stape (North Yorkshire) (here) and Ashby de la Launde (Lincolnshire) (here).

In locations where the fibre optic cable cannot reach, or isn't required in order to deliver a service, then NextGenUs adopts a FiWi (Fibre-fed Wireless Network) approach to outreach into surrounding communities. Just Do It (JFDI), as their saying goes.
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