The build of a full fibre open access gigabit network commences today
Tuesday 13th July 2021: Digital infrastructure specialist VX Fiber, has kick-started the build of a full fibre open access network across Crewe and Nantwich.
The new network will use Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband technology – providing a dedicated future-proof connection where the fibre optic cables are laid all the way from the signal source directly into the property. This differs from Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC), offered by some network operators, which is a blend of copper and fibre optic cables. Millions of subscribers across the UK who think they benefit from a fibre connection aren’t aware that fibre only goes to the street cabinet and then an outdated copper line, connects the cabinet to the premises.
As a neutral wholesaler and ‘true’ Open Access operator, VX Fiber is committed to building and operating open access full fibre networks. Customers are given the choice and the ability to select the services that match their specific needs from a wide-range of Service Providers. Residential and SME business customers can buy both a fibre connection and service, as a single proposition from LilaConnect (VX Fiber’s fibre-deployment business) or from one of its verified independent Service Provider partners. Additional services such as Phone (VoIP) and TV can also be purchased as required – depending on needs and budget. For Business customers, bespoke packages are available depending on service and SLA requirements.
This project in Crewe and Nantwich is further proof of VX Fiber and LilaConnect’s role as a driving force in helping the UK to achieve its ubiquitous internet connectivity goals of a minimum of 85% of premises connected by 2025. And a commitment to delivering full fibre connectivity within reach of hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in towns and cities across the UK. Its current live projects include Stoke-on-Trent; Colchester and London, with more to come in 2021 and beyond.
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council appointed VX Fiber as their partner to deliver the DCMS funded LFFN, using the Open Access Operator Model. The city network (Stoke-on-Trent Private Optical Network) is owned by Stoke-on-Trent City Council, whilst VX Fiber has been contracted to build and operate the infrastructure in the public domain. The City Council recently announced (7 June 2021) its Silicon Stoke Prospectus which set out the city’s digital ambitions. Via VX Fiber’s fibre-deployment business LilaConnect, it is further investing in the build of the necessary access infrastructure to connect over 100,000 premises across Stoke-on-Trent.
- Colchester: In March this year (2021), VX Fiber kick-started the build of a full fibre open access network across Colchester. The project is part of Colchester Borough Council’s wider plan to transform and future-proof the town’s digital infrastructure and establish itself as one of the best provisioned towns in the country, providing full fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the city. VX Fiber is making a multi-million pound investment into the necessary access infrastructure to connect premises. Via our fibre-deployment business LilaConnect, work is progressing well to enable an initial 8,000 homes and businesses within Colchester to benefit from direct access to full fibre gigabit broadband connectivity.
- A partnership between London Grosvenor, VX Fiber and its Service Provider partners, under the project name “Prime Fibre”, will create a transformative full fibre open access network across Mayfair and Belgravia. This forms part of Grosvenor’s digital strategy, where over the next few years, it will invest in one of the largest “single estate” upgrades in broadband. To date the ‘Prime Fibre’ project has passed over 3,000 premises, with plans in place to extend beyond the existing catchment areas.
Fast and reliable connectivity has shifted from being a luxury to being more of an everyday utility. COVID-19 has certainly fast-tracked this. Fibre is the core infrastructure of any future digital economy as innovations such as virtual reality, smart home applications, telehealth and online learning require high quality and high-speed broadband. The network will provide the basis for future investment in 5G, wireless and smart cities – positioned for upgrade to multi-gigabit speeds to adapt to the exponential rise in computing power and data use and the emergence of new applications.
Mikael Sandberg, Chairman at VX Fiber commented: “It is important to recognize that the shift to full fibre has been taking place on a global scale for over a decade. The UK in general has improved its full fibre coverage from 1% in 2012 to 18% at the end of 2020. Although the UK is playing a long game of catchup with the rest of the world, what is encouraging to note is that full fibre deployment across the UK is ramping up significantly. We are delighted to be an intrinsic part of the UK’s goal to get the country connected – and are looking forward to delivering Crewe and Nantwich with the digital infrastructure that will help them reap the economic and socio-economic benefits stable, reliable and high-capacity internet connectivity offers.”
Construction work has officially commenced in Stapeley. All homes and businesses across Crewe and Nantwich will have access to this gigabit full fibre open access network by the end of 2023. Residents and businesses interested in connecting to the new full fibre network can register their interest at www.lilaconnect.co.uk .