Property developer Persimmon Homes, which says they’ve had “difficulty” ensuring that other telecoms providers deliver broadband to their new build UK housing developments before purchasers move in, looks set to ramp up the rollout of their own Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based “ultrafast broadband” ISP network.
Until recently Persimmon predominantly deployed broadband and phone services by working alongside existing telecoms operators, such as Openreach (BT), Virgin Media and Open Fibre Networks Limited (OFNL). However, as above, this hasn’t always worked out quite as planned and the recent spat with BT over £7.2m of allegedly unpaid bills certainly won’t have helped (here).
Instead we note that Persimmon has been busy building their own closed “full fibre” networks under the FibreNest ISP sub-brand, which tends to offer unlimited usage packages from 10Mbps (1Mbps upload) for £13 per month (plus £60 setup) and this goes all the way up to their top tier of 500Mbps (50Mbps upload) for just £45 per month.
Admittedly not everybody has been happy to find themselves locked into a single ISP but the service is well priced and we’ve been seeing more of their deployments cropping up over the past year. Similarly Persimmon has now made an application for Code Powers from Ofcom, which is often sought by infrastructure builders so as to help simplify and speed-up their rollouts (i.e. reducing the number of licenses needed for street words).
Extract from Code Powers Request
The Applicant plans to use the proposed FTTP access network to offer Ultrafast broadband and telephony services to residential households. The Applicant may also offer suitable business-grade services if business and public sector sites are served.
The Applicant states that it has had difficulty ensuring that other telecoms providers deliver broadband and telephony services to its housing developments before purchasers move in, and that in some cases poor broadband speeds have been offered. The Applicant aims to address these problems by deploying its own network and offering retail services.
As noted above, the applicant plans to deploy its access network in areas where there is limited availability or no availability of Ultrafast broadband services.
Persimmon said that, wherever available and commercially viable, it intends to use either wholesale services purchased from other network operators or other network operator’s passive infrastructure, to provide connectivity between its housing developments and its core network.
Code Powers will be particularly useful for future maintenance work and situations where it deploys infrastructure on public highways (e.g. between its housing developments and core network, where alternatives are not available, or within housing developments where the roads have already been adopted as public highways etc.). Ofcom has proposed to approve the request.