Ogi’s brand has become synonymous with the community work it does in the areas it is building its network. As an endorsement of this, the altnet’s Cefnogi scheme won Best Community Support Project at the UK Fibre Awards 2023.
Altnet’s recruitment priorities have shifted from network builders to revenue generators, driven by pressures from investors demanding ROI.
"Competition creates innovation and wakes up incumbents. If it wasn’t for the handful of trailblazing altnets, the UK would have continued our slide down the global connectivity rankings."
Better understanding the needs of Local Authorities (LA) will be key for altnets looking to build mutually productive partnerships. At their most effective, these public/private relationships accelerate the provision of fibre, whilst supporting the councils’ ambitions of economic growth and social inclusion.
"I joined Gigabit Networks because the existing team are driven by a passion for connectivity that empowers communities, drives innovation, and transforms lives. In my new role, I hope to be a part of a future where every individual and business has access to the digital opportunities that full fibre enables."
Continually reviewing and improving the health and safety of staff and contractors is a top priority for fibre providers, with best practices in occupational health and safety measures the goal of all altnets. At the forefront of these efforts is Vorboss, a founding member of the Safety and Health in Fibre Telecoms (SHiFT), and here, Chief People Officer Jayelene O’Callaghan shares insights into the company's approach to managing and monitoring risk.
Only around 53 per cent of those eligible for social tariffs are currently aware of their existence. For this reason, uptake rates remain concerningly low. As of April 2022, only 5.1 per cent of those eligible for social tariffs had made the switch according to Ofcom, representing 220k of a potential 4.3 million households. This is against a UK market penetration rate of just over 11 per cent for fibre.
Quickline CEO Sean Royce forecasts the collapse of rural communities as the UK’s fibre coverage targets make hard-to-reach areas an unattractive prospect. Fibre providers continue to be put off by the cost and complexity of taking their rollouts to sparse geographies, instead opting to overbuild others in cities and market towns.
According to Netgem TV’s MD Sylvain Thevenot the addition of TV packages can boost full fibre sales by up to a quarter, and he is urging altnets to differentiate through bundling ‘Fibre with TV’ as the race for connections heats up.
With full fibre success stories in full flow it is easy to forget that the sector is impacted by the same tempestuous economic conditions as the rest of the UK.