UK altnets hit fibre accelerator

Fast-growing broadband infrastructure provider passes more than 500,000 homes and businesses as part of XGS-PON full-fibre network roll-out

Just as the UK government begins, slowly but surely, to advance full-fibre networks across the country, the nation’s independent broadband providers, altnets, are ramping up the pace of deployment, as evidenced by the latest implementations by Netomnia and MS3 Networks.

As it works towards its target of a million premises passed in the two years between 2022 and 2024, full-fibre broadband infrastructure provider Netomnia has revealed half a million premises across the UK now have access to its fibre networks, with ISP YouFibre now serving more than 40,000 customers on the UK’s largest exclusively XGS PON fibre infrastructure, capable of providing speeds of up to 10Gbps.

Netomnia said the milestone demonstrates “exponential” growth, with the business passing more than 125,000 properties in the second quarter of 2023 alone. The network operator is now building at a rate of 500,000 homes and businesses per year.

“Reaching half a million premises and already providing service to 40,000 of them is a significant achievement, and is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team,” said Jeremy Chelot, CEO of both Netomnia and YouFibre. “Especially when you consider we only started out two and a half years ago, and we are now the sixth-largest network in the UK, have the third-fastest build rate and are building in all four UK countries.

“This is just the first step in our ambitious growth strategy to hit one million homes and businesses within the next 12 months,” he said.

“I am particularly pleased about the speed at which we are now building. We truly understand the need for a future-proofed network like ours, so we are working as hard as we can to bring it to as many people as possible. We believe that everyone in the UK should be able to access broadband that is not only reliable, but empowers them to unleash their full potential.

“Our full-fibre infrastructure allows homes and businesses across the country to operate more effectively than ever before, and protects them as the world becomes better connected,” said Chelot.

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Meanwhile, a partnership between price comparison site and fibre provider MS3 Networks is setting out to allow residents in the Hull area to compare their local broadband provider costs and speeds more easily.

The provider said severe lack of awareness around available options has been an ongoing bugbear for the region, with local residents relying on manually looking up individual providers’ sites to select deals, until now. Moreover, citing data from UK comms regulator Ofcom, Hull was the most expensive city in the UK for broadband, costing residents on average £11 per month – more than the rest of the UK.

In explaining the reasons for the launch, MS3 said many local residents have to date been reliant on one fixed line provider, KCOM, and even those who are aware of new, smaller altnets in the area have had to manually search and compare what deals are available to them. Through this new partnership, residents will be able to see and compare deals available to them in one place, with a range of local providers now listed on

As a wholesale-only network provider, MS3 supplies fibre-to-the-premises connectivity to consumers through its partnerships with multiple ISPs. The independent telecommunications provider roll-out means more than 100,000 households in the Humberside area will be able to benefit, and the network is committed to providing full-fibre connectivity to Hull, Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Cleethorpes. In total, 500,000 premises are expected to be eligible for MS3’s full-fibre network by the end of 2025.

A number of the ISPs are offering exclusive pricing for the launch on Local providers Hull Fibre, Open Fibre, Link Broadband, Octaplus, Squirrel, Zone Broadband and Fiber Zone make use of the MS3 infrastructure for their service, and other providers listed include Infinics.

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