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Even as concerns are raised about how much the UK’s growing fibre-based broadband providers are bringing gigabit services to traditionally hard-to-reach places, altnets Zzoomm and Jurassic Fibre have revealed what they call ambitious fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) expansion with potential 10Gbps services and ultrafast broadband to the far west of England.
In the latest part of its expansion into the UK, broadband technology solutions provider Iskratel is now working with rapidly growing UK full-fibre internet service provider (ISP) Zzoomm to assist in the ramping up of fibre roll-out to hundreds of communities across the UK.
Zzoomm offers symmetric residential services up to 2Gbps and business services up to 10Gbps and, as part of the roll-out, it is tapping Iskratel for its complete XGS-PON access system including optical line terminals (OLTs) and optical network terminals (ONTs). Iskratel will supply its compact Lumia XG8 and Lumia C16 XGS-PON OLTs, as well as Innbox X22 ONTs for the dual-box setup at customer premises, delivering multi-gigabit services.
The partnership is intended to boost Zzoomm’s plans to reach one million UK premises in more than 85 towns by the end of 2025.“We have partnered with Iskratel to help accelerate our service deployment as our build programme gathers momentum across the UK,” said Rich Shaw, engineering director at Zzoomm.
“Iskratel brings tremendous experience and they complement our existing technology partners perfectly with their ability to deliver a high-quality, reliable and tailored solution for Zzoomm at scale. We look forward to developing our partnership with Iskratel and delivering a superior customer experience.”
Iskratel has experience in deploying fibre solutions in challenging semi-rural and rural areas, and is set to address the needs of the UK market with highly scalable XGS-PON/Combo OLTs and a range of ONTs. “We trust that our solutions are the perfect fit to meet the needs of UK operators,” said Svjetlana Kalaba, director business unit broadband at Iskratel. “It makes me glad to see UK users already benefiting from our partnership, with many more to follow. We are proud to take part in Zzoomm’s endeavours to bring fibre to hundreds of communities across the UK.”
From the perspective of connectivity, the county of Cornwall is essentially defined by challenging semi-rural and rural areas. Aiming to meet the generally unmet next-generation broadband needs of the population, South West-based ISP Jurassic Fibre has announced the start of its ultrafast broadband network in the area.
It has already rolled out such a network to more than 100,000 premises in 30 South West towns and villages in Devon, Dorset and Somerset, where many localities had previously struggled with inadequate and unreliable digital connectivity.
Bude marks the start of the broadband provider’s gigabit expansion in Cornwall, with a point of presence site already live. Build through the town will start this autumn with the first homes and businesses expected to be live before the end of the year. The company believes that the decision to extend the network into Cornwall signifies its commitment to levelling up the South West, digitally, economically and socially, and represents a substantial investment in the region, making gigabit speeds a reality for local communities in Bude.
Cornwall is home to some of the UK’s most digitally deprived and isolated areas. According to a study by the Office for National Statistics, the areas surrounding Bude were deemed some of the remotest out of 32,844 neighbourhoods in England, ranking as the most cut-off locations from key services such as schools, GP surgeries, food shops, major railway stations and airports.
Figures from Ofcom’s Connected Nations report show that across Cornwall, hundreds of households are currently unable to get speeds of more than 2Mbps, making them part of the 0.4% homes in the UK that still do not have access to a decent broadband connection (defined as download speeds of 10Mbps and upload speeds of 1Mbps). The new custom-built, fibre-to-the-premise network will offer Bude residents full-fibre connectivity, with internet speeds of up to 950Mbps for homes and 10Gbps for businesses.
The network roll-out is also set to support Bude’s growing tourism and agriculture industries by providing better lifestyle and business opportunities for local people and visitors. The expansion is also intended to boost the regional economy by enabling more people working and living in Bude to stay digitally connected to other areas of the UK.
With a £250m investment from Fern Trading, as advised by Octopus Investments, the local ISP is set to cover more than 500,000 traditionally hard-to-reach premises by the time the network is complete.
“We are committed to supporting the digital growth of the South West by connecting traditionally overlooked areas to our full-fibre broadband network,” said newly appointed Jurassic Fibre CEO Paul Hellings. “We are delighted to announce this first step into Cornwall, and this milestone is testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, who are working tirelessly to get homes connected and bring local communities up to speed when it comes to broadband.
“Bude is one of the South West’s top tourist destinations, and our network will support the advancement of the town’s key economic sectors and improve the lives of the people who live and work there. We look forward to unveiling further announcements soon on when homes and businesses in Bude and other areas can get connected.”