Ahead of this month’s Connected Britain 2021, we caught with Evan Wienberg, CEO of Truespeed to hear his views on the UK’s full fibre future.
Can you introduce yourself and Truespeed?
After building a career in the RAF and moving back to Somerset, Truespeed
was born in 2014 out of my frustration at having incredibly unreliable broadband that wasn’t fit for purpose. As a Bath-based full fibre infrastructure provider and ISP, we’re on a mission to bring underserved and left behind communities, businesses and cities in the South West into the digital fast lane.
Buoyed by £75M from Aviva investors in 2017, we’ve grown to a team of around 150, supported by up to 150 highly skilled subcontractors working on the network build at any one time. We’re going through a growth spurt, and in the last 12 months doubled the size of our network and customer base and passed over 31,000 properties across the region – including rolling-out gigabit-capable broadband in Bath and Wells and dishing up gigabit capability to high-profile local businesses like Yeo Valley.
What does the term Connected Britain mean to you?
I believe access to decent broadband is a right, not a privilege that depends on where you live. And as working practices have shifted towards hybrid and home working, the need to replace intermittent connectivity and spinning wheels with ultra-reliable, ultra-fast broadband is more urgent than ever. Full fibre broadband is an essential utility and should be on tap regardless of post code, which is why Truespeed is working tirelessly to make that a reality.
What are the biggest challenges for operators working towards delivering full fibre connectivity in the UK?
Rolling out brand new network infrastructure in hard-to-reach, rural areas and historic cities is never dull – from honouring tree preservation orders and overcoming difficulties with access permissions for third-party infrastructure and private land, to working within listed building guidelines and avoiding digging up roads, there’s always a new challenge round the corner. But we don’t give up and work hard to find a viable solution. Truespeed’s operations director, Simon Wall, will be discussing Truespeed’s Strategies for optimising network delivery in his conference panel, sharing how being flexible and changing our deployment approach has enabled us to accelerate the build in the region.
What can we expect to see from Truespeed over the next 12 – 18 months?
Let’s just say we’ve got lots of exciting things in the pipeline. Delivering truly better broadband to benefit underserved communities in the South West is in our DNA and we’ll be doing much more of the same – at pace.
What are you most looking forward to about Connected Britain?
I’m a great believer that when people come together you get about 5 times more done. Like everyone who’s holding a Connected Britain conference pass, I’m pretty excited at having the opportunity to come together as an industry and look people in the eye directly rather than through a computer camera. And the conference schedule looks really impressive with some stand-out sessions to boot.
Truespeed will be joining two sessions at Connected Britain – the UK’s number one connectivity event. Evan will be joining a panel on 21st September on "How can regulators better support broadband rollouts?" Truespeed’s Director of Operations will also be speaking and will join a session on "Strategies for optimising network delivery". To join Truespeed at the event, make sure you book your ticket ASAP (even better if you work for a UK B2C operator or the UK public sector, you can attend for free).