FibreNation is rolling out its network in Dewsbury, as the latest part of its 1Gbit/s £100 million FTTH/FTTP project in Yorkshire. FibreNation, which was set up by TalkTalk, says that the first properties in Dewsbury will be connected by October 2019, with the town fully connected (61,000 premises) by 2022.
Dewsbury follows hard on the heels of FibreNation’s investment in York, where 40,000 homes and businesses were connected in 2018, with a further 15,000 due to be connected by 2020. Both TalkTalk and Sky wholesale access from the network. FibreNation plans to provide Gigabit fibre to three million homes and businesses over the next 10 years, with rollouts in Harrogate, Ripon and Knaresborough planned for late 2019.
Launched in November 2018, FibreNation was initially looking for a £1.5 billion investment from Infracapital to fund 80% of its rollout (with the remaining 20% coming from TalkTalk), but after this fell through it has been looking for alternative investors. In August 2019, Sky News reported that Cityfibre was seeking to partner with TalkTalk by investing in FibreNation. There is precedent for this, as the two firms worked together in York. However, Sky says that other parties – at least three – are currently in talks with FibreNation.
Localised rollout will get more of the UK onto fibre faster, but Omnisperience expects a round of consolidation within the industry, as providers seek to grow their nationwide footprint and gain economies of scale. Importantly, they also need scale to meet the needs of their service provider partners.
Dewsbury network providers
- Openreach – superfast broadband (FTTC), with some FTTP
- Virgin Media – reaches approximately half the town with ultrafast broadband