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Central London Street is First to be Served by Three Full-Fibre Networks

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Across the UK just 12% of properties can access full-fibre broadband and most will be served by just one network. But on one street in Central London, residents are spoiled for choice, with three full-fibre connections.

In St James’s, just north of Parliament, three full-fibre networks—Hyperoptic, Openreach and G.Network—overlap. Broadband research group Point Topic confirmed the overbuild on one particular street in the neighbourhood and attributed it to the cooperation of Westminster Council.

“We expect suppliers to focus on areas where they can get the best return and where they can also get a cooperative planning environment, with Westminster Council as one of the leading exponents of facilitating wayleaves and helping their residents and businesses (see their broadband voucher success) get more bandwidth,” Point Topic said.

Expect more triple-served streets to follow. The Government’s 2018 Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review believes “at least a third (with the potential to be substantially higher) of UK premises are likely to be able to support three or more competing gigabit-capable networks.”

However, some alternative network providers, including Hyperoptic, have raised concerns that BT-owned Openreach is overbuilding FTTP networks in such a way to squash competition. Overbuilding dampens take-up in that area for a particular full-fibre ISP, making it harder for them to see a return on their investment in the network build or even to attract funding to undertake it.

Openreach’s FTTP network currently reaches 2.156 million premises, with the aim of connecting four million by March 2021 and 15 million by 2025. 

Independent network provider Hyperoptic currently covers 400,000 premises and is targeting two million by the end of 2021 and five million by the end of 2024. Fellow alternative provider G.Network has reached 75,000 premises on more than 200 London streets and aims to reach 120,000 by some point this year.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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