Privately gap funded solutions are growing in popularity particularly in London where for a long time the commercial roll-out by Openreach appeared to be on hold, but that has started to change, combined with some groups of residents getting together to fund solutions.
Bellville House in Greenwich is a new development where leaseholders raised around £20,000 to gap fund the installation of VDSL2 hardware to provider superfast broadband to residents via a new cabinet 66. In itself this is nothing too unusual, as every month sees a couple of privately funded cabinets going live, Bellville House is slightly different in that the cabinet is located in the apartment block and that it took three years from start to finish with wayleaves being the biggest stumbling block. The usual quote from Openreach for those going down the community fibre route is around 12 months.
Interestingly we also understand that Hyperoptic will very shortly be bringing its Gigabit broadband service to the flats, giving residents even more choice.
The plethora of choice will seem very galling for residents in areas like Rotherhithe where masses of people are on exchange only lines, but we are seeing some new apartments in that area getting FTTP and if freeholders can be got on-board then the potential for retro-fitting becomes more realistic.