A new Portsmouth (Hampshire) based ISP called toob has surfaced that claims to have secured enough investment to deploy a Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network “at scale” across parts of the UK, which aims to serve businesses and homes. But there’s a strong Vodafone connection.
The provider, which has already applied for Code Powers from Ofcom (i.e. helps to speed up deployment by reducing the number of licenses needed for street works), doesn’t yet appear to have a website but they did setup a LinkedIn page with a few details and are hiring. At this stage the details we’ve been able to dig up are wafer thin, although by the sounds of it they intend to “build and operate a full fibre network in towns and cities across the UK” (urban focus).
The operator also expects to make some use of Openreach’s existing cable ducts and poles to help deploy their own optical fibres (i.e. Physical Infrastructure Access) and says they’d be willing to share their own infrastructure once built (so long as doing so doesn’t jeopardise the commercial viability of its own business case).
toob’s Mission Statement
toob is one of the new generation of gigabit fibre broadband businesses that are driving the deployment of full fibre networks in the UK. toob will be providing consumers, businesses and public service organisations with access to gigabit broadband enabling everyone to benefit from superior connectivity. The business has secured investment and we are now looking to grow the team at our offices in Portsmouth.
The exact roll-out plan is currently unclear but their aspiration is to build a new network that covers 100,000 premises within the first 2 years of operation, with consumers being offered access to symmetrical broadband speeds of up to 900Mbps (going faster in the future – as demand requires).
Now this is where things start to get very interesting. The company founder and CEO, Nick Parbutt, was previously Vodafone’s Director of Strategy and Wholesale (plus various other senior roles) and indeed there’s a strong overall connection to that operator.
toob’s other Founder and CFO, Michael Banwell, currently still seems to be listed as an active Director of Wholesale at Vodafone. Meanwhile the company’s Technical Director, Sean Teggart, is similarly listed as being Vodafone’s present Head of Fixed Networks for the UK and Ireland. Most likely they merely forgot to update their profiles but if not..
We should remind readers that Vodafone are currently making use of Cityfibre’s £2.5bn FTTP broadband network, which aims to cover 5 million UK premises by the end of 2024 (details). Vodafone separately also harnesses Openreach’s (BT) wholesale FTTC products for their mainstream superfast broadband packages.
We will update again once more information is known.