UK Altnets Target 14 million With Ultrafast Fibre

Created April 17, 2018
UK Digital and Culture Minister Margot JamesNews and Business

By 2025, it is expected the number of UK premises passed by full fibre infrastructure supplied by alternative network providers (altnets) will rise to nearly 14.25 million homes and business. And, according to a new report produced by Point Topic for the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA), nearly one million homes and businesses in the UK are already now in reach of ultrafast full fibre connectivity provided by the altnets. The report, which says this is approaching double the number of premises reached by BT Openreach, also estimates that altnets with Fixed Wireless Access networks can reach up to a further two million premises, mainly in rural areas.

“It’s fantastic to see the growth of the new companies building fibre and wireless networks. We’re creating the right environment to stimulate industry investment, and I’m delighted by the altnets’ ambitious plans to reach millions more homes and businesses over the next few years,” states UK Digital and Culture Minister Margot James. “We are also supporting these goals through government investment in new fibre networks, 5G projects and by removing business rates for new fibre deployment for five years.”

By 2025, it is expected the number of premises passed by full fibre infrastructure supplied by altnets will rise to nearly 14.25 million homes and business, covering 50% of the UK’s population, which may include some double counting from overbuild. This will include around 4.8 million live connections.

The report also forecasts that an estimated 1.92 million premises will have the ability to order altnet fixed network high-speed broadband services by the end of 2019, with an estimated 554,700 subscribers connected. Altnets currently account for 207,500 live connections on fixed networks and an estimated 100,500 on Fixed Wireless Access infrastructure in the UK.

“This report shows that the altnets are making great progress in both urban and rural areas,” added INCA’s CEO Malcolm Corbett. “They are delivering the future-proofed digital infrastructure the country needs for long-term prosperity. The investment and competitive dynamic these companies have introduced mean that we will get ultrafast full fibre networks and high-speed wireless broadband much faster than simply relying on the incumbent. Government support for the sector is tremendously helpful, and with continued support altnets can speed up the deployment of new networks and services.”


This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.