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UK full fibre

UK Full Fibre AltNets aim to connect 29.9 Million premises by 2025

2.586 million UK premises are currently covered by alternative broadband providers, who aim to increase this to 29.9m by the end of 2025.


According to a report from INCA (Independent Networks Co-operative Association) which represents alternative broadband networks and analyst Point Topic, UK coverage by alternative ‘full fibre’ broadband ISPs expanded 110% in 2020. Almost £12bn is expected to be invested in the delivery of new full fibre connectivity by independent providers before the end of 2025.

The ‘Metrics for the UK Independent Network Sector’ report shows that the sector’s ambition is being matched by substantial investment in new networks. Current take-up rate is 32.67% (up from 30% last year). The report shows that the sector is four times larger than ten years ago. Gigabit infrastructure supplied by independent operators is expected to reach over 6.6 million premises at the end of 2021 with some 1.1 million live connections made. “This report demonstrates that the ‘altnets’ are making a major contribution to meeting the Government’s targets for gigabit broadband connectivity” said Malcolm Corbett, CEO at INCA. “This current wave of investment, particularly in full fibre and wireless broadband networks, means there is no segment of the market where there isn’t a plan to build independent networks. This should be applauded and supported by government, regulator and the wider community.”

The report also looked into independent operators main concerns in 2021. The most frequently mentioned were, obtaining wayleaves and overbuild by other operators. Access to finance was the least mentioned concern. The year-on-year growth confirms the major contribution the ‘altnets’ are making to the Government's target for delivering national coverage of gigabit capable broadband. Furthermore, the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit scheme is supporting operators to deploy to mainly rural premises, aiming to make Gigabit networks available to at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025.