ISP B4B Networks, which until now has largely only focused upon catering for business premises in Northern Ireland, appears to have connected up its first residential apartment block to their new Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network in the city of Belfast. More will soon follow.
At present the latest data from Ofcom estimates that only 89% of premises in Northern Ireland can access a “superfast broadband” (30Mbps+) network and this falls to 38% for those able to access a 300Mbps+ capable “ultrafast” connection or just 12% for those within reach of a “full fibre” (FTTP / FTTH) style network (details).
Various UK operators are working to improve their 1Gbps+ capable “full fibre” coverage in Northern Ireland, particularly the big boys of Openreach (BT) and Virgin Media, although B4B Networks have also previously signalled that they too would be expanding to cater for residential premises (here and here).
The good news today is that B4B appears to have taken a leaf out of Hyperoptic’s play-book and as a result their first residential deployments in Belfast seem to be focused upon catering for large apartment blocks (Multi-Dwelling Units), which are more economical to reach. In keeping with that their initial deployments stem from a new agreement with Dream Apartments, which manage several MDU buildings in the city.
Full Fibre Apartments on B4B / Dreams Rollout List
* Obel Apartments: In Belfast City Centre, overlooking the famous River Lagan.
* St Thomas Hall Apartments: On Lisburn Road, an iconic location, known for its shopping and dining options, as well as views of the Black Mountains.
* Sanford Apartments: In Sanford, a calm, cosmopolitan and well-connected location with an excellent choice of cafés, bars and eateries.
Apparently the Obel apartments (pictured – top) have already gone live, with St Thomas Hall set to follow very soon and Sanford due to be connected up during the Spring. Dream Apartments also manage the Titanic Arc (Titanic Quarter) and Gallery (Dublin Roa) buildings, but there’s currently no mention of those (Love Belfast).
Late last year B4B also worked with entrepreneur Conal Henry on a plan to establish the new open access fibre optic network operator Fibrus, which aims to investment £100m+ over the next 5 years on improving business and residential connectivity in N.Ireland and beyond.
Sadly at the time of writing we couldn’t find any details on what service plans and prices will be offered to residents of the three apartment blocks.