UK altnets reach nearly 1 million homes passed with fibre


The UK’s alternative infrastructure providers (altnets) have passed nearly a million homes with pure fibre broadband, new figures have revealed.

The Independent Networks Cooperative Association (INCA), which commissioned the report along with research firm Point Topic, said the figure of 998,500 homes passed was nearly double the number connected by BT-owned Openreach.

The report predicted the number of premises passed will hit 1.92 million by the end of next year, based on the roll-out intentions of prominent altnets such as CityFibre and Hyperoptic, and 14.25 million by 2025.

Currently altnets have 207,500 live connections over the infrastructure, which the report said would rise to 4.8 million in 2025.

[Read more: It’s altnets vs Openreach as battle for UK fibre market heats up]

INCA’s CEO Malcolm Corbett said: “This report shows that the altnets are making great progress in both urban and rural areas.

"They are delivering the future-proofed digital infrastructure the country needs for long-term prosperity.

“The investment and competitive dynamic these companies have introduced mean that we will get ultrafast full fibre networks and high-speed wireless broadband much faster than simply relying on the incumbent.

"Government support for the sector is tremendously helpful and with continued support altnets can speed up the deployment of new networks and services.”

Openreach has committed to reaching three million homes by 2020 with FTTH, the same number of premises TalkTalk has committed to passing with partner Infracapital.

Virgin Media is aiming to reach around two million premises with FTTH as part of its Project Lightning build.

CityFibre has teamed up with Vodafone to reach up to five million UK premises with the next gen technology.

The UK's Digital and Culture Minister Margot James said: "It's fantastic to see the growth of the new companies building fibre and wireless networks.

"We're creating the right environment to stimulate industry investment, and I'm delighted by the altnets' ambitious plans to reach millions more homes and businesses over the next few years.

“We are also supporting these goals through government investment in new fibre networks, 5G projects and by removing business rates for new fibre deployment for 5 years."