Broadband News

Metro fibre network for Suffolk to be built for £11.9m

The Local Full Fibre Network is delivering more full fibre, though in terms of broadband coverage statistics delivering leased line and dark fibre capability to police stations and hospitals is not normally included.

Suffolk is talking about a revolution, but it is more like catch-up as many other areas of the UK have metro fibre networks. The ten towns are Bury St Edmunds, Felixstowe, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lowestoft, Newmarket, Mildenhall, Stowmarket, Sudbury and Woodbridge and contrary to claims made by the BBC 'the new system will be 10 times the current fastest rates offered in the county', there is already full fibre with some able to access Gigabit speeds to some 6,929 premises and Virgin Media 208 to 362 Mbps services to over 75,000 premises. Also full fibre business connectivity is available to all business in the area but the cost can be prohibitive and the CityFibre model by getting large anchor institutions on board first is then able to sell the usual business leased lines for cheaper.

The 10 times the speed may actually have been something the BBC reporter was told as there are other odd statements from MLL Telecom who are the ISP partner involved.

long term investment in fibre infrastructure to future proof speeds no less than 1GB.

It allows people to work from anywhere, anytime, so we are really excited to be involved in this project.

Having the ability to have 1GB speed is hugely revolutionary. We have had 100 years of copper wire and now we are moving to the next revolution and this will futureproof for the next 50-100 years.

Neil Woolerton, director of client management at MLL Telecom

The 1GB is not an uncommon transcription problem, hence why when speaking to press it is always best to use the actual word Gigabit verbally and in any press releases, since as we have found too many people seem to morph 1 Gbps (1 Gigabit per second) into 1GB (1 GigaByte). Raising these sort of issues may seem petty but given CityFibre is championing the only fibre to the premises deserves to be advertised as fibre and the other partial solutions such as FTTC and DOCSIS should be banned from saying 'fibre' then one would hope that precision would be ensured on other technical elements. Saying the network will deliver no less than 1 Gbps is a good claim and while no doubt the local fibre network topology will ensure this and more once you get a few hundred locations online it would be interesting if they all tried to use a Gigabit at the same time.

The roll-out is funded by £5.9m from the LFFN and then local councils, police, NHS clinical commissioning groups and hospital trusts are adding another £6m, no information is available on what their on-going subscription costs will be once connected to the new network, but we are sure someone has done the sums that this upfront investment will lead to longer term savings.

The big carrot dangled to keep business rates and council tax payers happy is that in 18 months 'businesses and private users' will be able to order a service. The term private users is a vague but if that does mean residential then with Vodafone Gigafast as the main consumer retailer on the CityFibre network and they have not announced these areas of Suffolk for their future build we are sceptical about this claim. Remember the CityFibre roll-out in Milton Keynes is expected to last two or so years, it seems more likely that the 18 months is the date that the first SME business customers will be able to order and those very close to the metro network may get connected.

Fingers crossed for subsequent announcements of a traditional FTTP roll-out to residential areas in the ten towns.


. . . since as we have found two many people seem to morph . . .

sed 's/two/too/'


  • burakkucat
  • 9 months ago

Fixed the typo/autocorrect mistake

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • 9 months ago

As someone that lives in Ipswich, I'd love an alternative to virgin media with more upload!!

  • rtho782
  • 9 months ago

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