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Altnet full-fibre firms hit the north

Independent UK broadband providers continue programmes of network expansion to light up premises in Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Humberside with gigabit connectivity

The pace of gigabit broadband provision across the UK by the country’s independent provider community (altnets) is showing no sign of slowing down, with two leading altnets announcing major installations in the M62 corridor from St Helen’s and Ashton in the North West and across the country to Hull.

In the Merseyside and Greater Manchester deployment, altnet brsk is offering 60,000 homes and businesses in the two North West towns access to its full-fibre network, which has now passed 552,000 homes across the UK, 536,000 of those are ready for service (RFS).

The new deployments – with symmetrical upload and download speeds, and a guarantee of no unexpected mid-contract price increases – are part of the company’s plans to increase coverage across the North West and West Midlands within the UK, including Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, West Yorkshire, Lancashire, The Black Country and South Birmingham.  

Bringing better broadband to underserved areas across the UK is brsk’s stated mission. Commenting on the deployment, brsk chief operating officer Ian Kock said that strong collaboration between local authorities and operators was crucial to driving digital inclusion by making sure that “world-class technology” was available and usable for everyone, rather than “a select lucky few”.

“We think it’s criminal that so many residents have had to suffer with slow, expensive broadband for so long – not to mention the extremely poor customer service that comes with it. Luckily, we’re on the case. We look forward to bringing broadband the way it should be experienced: fast, affordable and fair – nothing less,” he said.

“In addition to lack of access to better technology, people across the country are struggling financially in this economic climate, yet major broadband providers are implementing annual price increases instead of supporting customers.

“We don’t believe that’s right, especially because customers never know exactly how much they will end up paying when initially signing up. We believe in simplicity and, more importantly, transparency.”

Meanwhile, after a network expansion for the past two years, MS3 Networks, which has hit 200,000 premises passed on its overall network, has reached its 10,000th customer in the city of Hull. 

The roll-out marks MS3’s progress towards its goal to ultimately cover more than 500,000 premises with its 10Gb fibre network. MS3 has passed over 200,000 homes and businesses across the North of England, including completed builds in Scunthorpe and Immingham, and ongoing work in Mexborough and Grimsby. It is on track to complete the majority of its Hull build by the end of 2024.

MS3’s strategic expansion focuses on bridging the broadband digital divide in the UK, especially in underserved areas like Hull, which the company said has long suffered with higher prices due to incumbent operator domination.

By delivering “reliable, ultrafast internet” and making it available to multiple ISP partners at competitive rates, MS3 aims to support digital inclusion, enabling more individuals and businesses to access the internet.

“Passing the milestone of 200,000 premises is a testament to our team’s ongoing determination and drive to change the broadband landscape in the region,” said MS3 Networks CEO Guy Miller.

“We remain committed to providing exceptional full-fibre services to our ISP partners and their customers as we continue to expand our network. We are also very proud of our take-up levels, with a number of areas in Hull above 20 percent despite us only starting the build two years ago.”

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