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Giganet, Anixter team to expand FTTP internet service to the UK

Further momentum in UK full-fibre broadband market sees leading ISP entering into a multi-year agreement with subsidiary of Wesco International, to support the expansion of gigabit connectivity delivery across the UK

Leading ISP Giganet has announced a multi-year agreement with global supply chain services provider Anixter to support the expansion of full-fibre, hyper fast service delivery to premises throughout the UK.

The companies are making their move against the backdrop of the UK government’s vision to increase access to gigabit broadband in the UK to 85% by the end of 2025, and their agreement represents an innovative solution to the operational challenges faced by ISPs trying to efficiently scale their network and services to meet a constantly growing demand for high-speed broadband internet access.

The agreement is the culmination of more than four months of close collaboration and discussions between the leadership teams of both companies, and the partners envisage that their collaboration will deliver benefits to Giganet that include increased speed of fulfilment, economies of scale and purchasing, operational and administrative efficiencies, and cost-effective deployments.

Under the terms of the partnership, Anixter said it will provide end-to-end supply chain management expertise to Giganet, allowing the ISP to focus on its core expertise in providing gigabit and affordable internet services for both consumers and businesses, alongside UK-based customer support and service. The deal also includes stock holding and material management services; deployment enhancement services; supplier rationalisation and management; and passive infrastructure provisioning for ducts, sub ducts, chambers and fibre cables.

“This type of collaboration and innovation will ensure that Giganet can deliver on our vision to be the best ISP,” said Giganet CEO Jarlath Finnegan.

“We want to connect customers, and Anixter can help us achieve this in the most efficient way,” he said. “We see this type of approach as a game changer within the ISP industry, allowing us the flexibility to operate nationwide without the logistic and warehousing challenges normally associated with these activities.”

Yet the move also comes in the wake of a January 2022 report from the UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC), which cast doubt on whether the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will meet even its downgraded target to roll out super-fast, gigabit broadband to 85% of the population by 2025.

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The PAC added that despite the progress that has been made in taking full-fibre across the country, energising the altnet provider and ISP industry, the DCMS was relying too heavily on commercial contractors for the progress that has been made.

The PAC’s report also highlighted that the DCMS had calculated that the proportion of premises in the UK with access to gigabit broadband leapt from 40% to 57% between May and October 2021, but it stressed that this was largely due to Virgin Media O2 upgrading its cable network.

The Committee damningly said that the DCMS “has made little tangible progress in delivering internet connectivity beyond that achieved by the private sector”. Moreover, it doubted that the DCMS goal of full coverage by 2030 would cover the UK’s very hardest-to-reach areas, which include around 134,000 premises, and it had no detailed plan in place for reaching communities where it is not commercially viable to do so.

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