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WightFibre calls council broadband plans flawed
Wednesday 13 February 2013 15:11:11 by Andrew Ferguson

The Isle of Wight broadband project moving into the procurement phase looked like a small update, but WightFibre talking to local publication Island:Pulse is claiming it will meet the projects objectives years ahead of the council plans.

There appears to be some resentment that the firm has not been able to bid for the work, though it would also appear what WightFibre claim to not need funding from the council and will deliver equivalent coverage of superfast broadband. We have spent some time looking for precisely what the Isle of Wight council plan is, but beyond generic BDUK type phrases of 90% getting access to superfast and 100% of other premises getting at least 2 Mbps nothing is clear. Certainly no publicly visible evidence to support the idea that the council project has an end date of 2019, the 90% target is clearly laid out for 2015, though it might be missed with the project now not starting until 2014.

Across the UK other broadband projects have carried out a mapping and consultation phase where broadband suppliers are meant to supply details of their commercial plans (and they can submit changes if their plans change) for the period up to 2015. This is meant to avoid council money being spent in areas where for example a superfast service via an alternative operator (e.g. Virgin Media is available). The result of this exercise is a map of white areas, where the council intends to spend money to provide a USC grade service or superfast service.

We have contacted WightFibre to see if they have submitted their plans to the council and more information on their current footprint and where they plan to expand to on the island.

With around 70,000 premises on the island, if WightFibre is really deploying its 100 Mbps services to 90% of these by the end of 2014, the BDUK, council and commercial partner funding should easily be able to provide FTTP to the remaining properties on the island rather than the halfway house of FTTC or FTTN.


Posted by herdwick over 4 years ago
The broadband plan last year talked of :

To achieve 2Mb/s as a minimum, right across the Island by 2015
To achieve faster broadband at a minimum of 24Mb/s for over 90% of all premises on
the Island by 2015
To ‘future proof’, via linkages with other economic development programmes (e.g. PFI
Highways) to enable greater capacity for fibre to premise and infrastructure upgrades
to superfast broadband (30+Mb/s) by 2020
To provide an ‘open’ access infrastructure to multiple service providers to drive
competition and demand.

so "by 2020" might be the 2019 ??
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
The future proof just means possible spending in conjunction with future projects I believe i.e. woolly speak to say major road works might include new ducting to make FTTP cheaper.

Rather than the contract will hit 90% in 2015 and take another four years for next 10%.
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
I know these guys and the product is excellent. It really should be 'no contest' for the IoW.

I wonder what the Council could do with £3mill to benefit the island?

Posted by New_Londoner over 4 years ago
Did the cable company actually bid when it had the opportunity, or is this just whinging? Did it respond to the open market review? And does it operate an open network or is it trying to build a closed monopoly?
Posted by mikejp over 4 years ago
I suspect they would not even come close to the highly restrictive financial requirements of BDUK and this would be ineligible to 'bid'. I would expect they responded to the OMR, but you would need to look at the IoW Council pages to see.
Posted by ccxo over 4 years ago
Their is not much on the council pages at current, few news items and and the registration links etc.
Have a look at the section of their website below, as their network looks to be closed.
Posted by GrahamM242 over 4 years ago
I happen to live in Newport, Isle of Wight, and wightfibre don't seem to offer any cabled product where I am. Best offer they can make for me is a 10meg product that I suspect is delivered wirelessly.
Posted by mikehiow over 4 years ago
The problem with WightFibre is that they have a reputation on the Isle of Wight for delivering a terrible service since their first inception.

Even technophobe people turn their nose up at the mere mention of WightCable/WightFibre.

Hopefully their new MD can put the right products, resources and staff in place to raise their standards.
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