Network operator LilaConnect, a subsidiary of Swedish provider VXFIBER, announced this morning that it has joined two more towns in Staffordshire, England, for its UK launch of a new “open access” and Gigabit speed Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network – Cannock and Penkridge.
The operator is currently rolling out its full fibre-optic network across several UK areas including the Staffordshire towns of Stoke-on-Trent (100,000 buildings – here) and Leek (11,750 buildings – here), in the town of Colchester (8,000 buildings in Essex). – here), parts of London (3,000 buildings via Prime Fibre) and Crewe and Nantwich in Cheshire (here), not to mention their Bristol and Uttoxeter projects.
The latest additions to this list bring the operator to 21,500 homes and businesses across Staffordshire towns and cities Kannock (17,500 premises) and Penkridge (4,000 premises). The first areas are expected to be operational in January 2023, with all premises – both residential and commercial – having access to the new connectivity by December 2023.
The town of Cannock is a particularly interesting choice as Openreach added it to their own FTTP rollout plan last year and Zzoomm also plans to deploy a similar network to cover 37,000 buildings in the region. Hyperoptic’s FTTB network is also present in some of the city’s larger apartment blocks.
Sarah Grange, Operations Manager at LilaConnect, told ISPreview.co.uk:
“We are proud to begin construction of the new LilaConnect full gigabit fiber network at Cannock and Penkridge in Staffordshire. It will allow all businesses and residents in both districts to take advantage of the world-class fiber optic internet connection and ensure they can access broadband service that is not only lightning fast, but also stable, secure and reliable. These are all essential features that help businesses thrive and residents thrive in today’s digital age.
In addition to our Leek and Uttoxeter properties, Cannock and Penkridge represent the next step in our investment in the Staffordshire area. It is a major step forward in our progress to ensure the entire region can benefit from world-class connectivity that is future-proof for decades to come.”
Using Air Broadband as an example, consumer prices for associated service options start at around £37.50 per month for 500Mbps (100Mbps upload) for 24 months and go up to £39.98 per month for 1Gb /s, although exact packages and pricing may vary between supporting ISPs. In addition, the provider offers a 100Mbps social plan for beneficiaries, starting at £20 per month. There is also an option to add phone services without having to create bundle packages to secure the best discount levels.
As you’d expect, Cannock and Penkridge residents and business owners will no doubt be affected while the fiber optic cables are being laid (which can be quite a disruptive and noisy process), but LilaConnect said they are making it a “absolute priority” to ensure that the work is carried out as quickly and efficiently as possible. Dedicated cleaning teams are also deployed to sweep and jet clean sidewalks and driveways once the restored asphalt has settled.
In addition, the LilaConnect cleaning team is also used to wash windows and cars. Rubbish collectors will be on the road to ensure everything looks clean and tidy during the excavation project, and community engagement and sales teams will be on site to meet with residents and answer any questions about the project.
Unfortunately, the announcement didn’t provide any information on how much the local rollout is expected to cost.