The altnet aims to expand its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network to over 3,750 hard-to-reach premises in the region using funding from the UK government
Last year, Scottish altnet Borderlink (trading as GoFibre) was awarded a £7.3 million contract to deploy FTTP in North Northumberland as part of the UK government’s Project Gigabit scheme. Now, following roughly six months of surveying and planning, the company has announced that it is ready to begin deployment, aiming to cover 3,750 premises.
The initial deployments will cover parts of Berwick-upon-Tweed, Seahouses, Wooler, Belford and neighbouring communities, with customers able to access commercial services from as early as autumn this year.
The full build process, however, will not be completed until 2025.
GoFibre says the fibre deployments will provide a major lift to the local economy in these rural areas, allowing businesses to digitalise and creating employment opportunities.
“These communities are at real risk of being left behind and so we are thrilled to be addressing the rural digital divide head-on with our North Northumberland build officially underway,” said Neil Conaghan, CEO of GoFibre. “By way of our partnership with the UK government and Northumberland County Council, we are implementing a future-proof network which will equip these locations with the tools required to drive innovation and success.”
This is the second rollout project GoFibre is undertaking as part of Project Gigabit, having already won the £6.6 million contract to deploy fibre in Teesdale in September last year. This deployment project entered the build phase in April this year and is aiming to cover roughly 4,000 premises with fibre by 2025.
Event excluding these government-supported rollout projects, GoFibre has been accelerating its fibre deployments significantly over the past year, having received a investment of £164 million from the Gresham House Investment Fund at the start of 2022. This has allowed the company to significantly increase its FTTP rollout target to 500,000 premises by the end of 2025.
Just last month, GoFibre confirmed plans to expand its rollout to a further 32 towns and villages in Scotland and the North of England, aiming to cover 82,000 premises by the start of 2024.
In related news, yesterday the UK government announced its latest batch of Project Gigabit contracts, all three of which went to CityFibre and totalled £318 million.
Is the UK deploying fibre fast enough to reach the government’s ambitious gigabit rollout targets? Join the ecosystem in discussion at the UK’s largest digital economy event, Connected Britain