The UK Government’s Minister for Digital, Margot James MP, has praised ISP Community Fibre for having successfully made their 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network available to 50% of social housing in the London borough of Wandsworth (the first of the city’s boroughs to do so).
At the start of this year Community Fibre confirmed that they had already completed deployment to 10,000 council homes in the borough (here), which still left another 10,000 to go before completion (20,000 total). Sadly today’s update doesn’t include an updated figure but we assume they’ve made some progress since January 2018.
The provider’s work around London, which tends to focus its energy on doing deals with local authorities in urban areas to serve large social housing estates, is being supported by an investment pot of £40 million (example). This money has primarily come from Railpen and Amber Infrastructure (Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund).
We should point out that CF’s deployment is done at no cost to either the council or the resident (except for the service rental of course).
Margot James, Minister for Digital, said:
“We recently announced our ambition for a nationwide full fibre broadband network as part of our plans to build a Britain that’s fit for the future. Partnerships, like the one between Wandsworth Council and Community Fibre, will be instrumental in delivering this, and we want to see more boroughs working with network operators to make sure residents get the connectivity they need for the future, as soon as possible.”
Jeremy Chelot, CEO of Community Fibre, added:
“The residents of Wandsworth are now some of the best connected people in the country, with access to the fastest speeds in the UK. We believe in providing better internet for everyone, and this milestone is a significant first step in our commitment to eliminating the growing issue of digital poverty – where a large proportion of UK consumers have access to some of the slowest broadband speeds in Europe.”
We would like to thank the Government for the work it has been doing to encourage full-fibre roll out. We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Wandsworth Council for being game-changers in their collaborative approach to working with network providers like us, which is instrumental in helping to accelerate London toward the future.”
Having been raised in social housing myself, I have seen first-hand the impact the internet can have in improving lives and opportunities. Our vision for the future is one of a 100% full-fibre Britain, and we are doing everything we can to make that a reality.”
Community Fibre currently expects to have extended their Gigabit capable FTTH/P broadband network to around 50,000+ homes in London by the end of 2018 and in total they’re already contracted to build 180,000 premises. Over the medium-term the operator is also targeting a total coverage of 500,000 premises by 2022 and on top of that they’ve hinted at an aspiration to reach 1 million by around 2025 (here).
At present the fastest package available to residents is a symmetrical 1Gbps connection but in the future they plan to offer a 10Gbps service.