NI company Fibrus completes first GB connections as part of £108m Project Gigabit broadband investment

  • Northern Ireland broadband provider Fibrus has announced that the first homes have been connected as part of the new £108m gigabit-capable broadband scheme to improve connectivity in rural Cumbria. This comes after the UK government entrusted the Northern Ireland company with the delivery of the breakthrough initiative late last year.

    Fibrus was awarded the Project Gigabit contract for Cumbria in November 2022, with a remit for the provision of full-fibre broadband to around 60,000 premises in the area. It has taken just six months for residents in Staveley to experience the benefits of the fastest broadband on the market thanks to new technology provided by Fibrus. All newly connected properties in Staveley are now using cutting-edge XGS-PON technology which offers broadband speeds of up to 2Gbps.

    Project Gigabit is the biggest broadband roll-out in British history, backed with £5bn from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to deliver lightning-fast broadband connections to hard-to-reach and rural areas that would otherwise have missed out. Gigabit capable networks are fast and future-proofed, allowing users to work, stream and scroll online without the battle for bandwidth or disruption often experienced with ageing networks.

    Fibrus’ Chief Delivery Officer Conor Harrison said: “From signing the contract late last year, to connecting the first homes in Staveley within six months illustrates the high speed of delivery with which Fibrus has become synonymous,” he said.

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    “The efficient execution of this work is a testament to the commitment, dedication, and skill of our team members, who are equipped and ready to deliver full-fibre broadband to the people of Cumbria.

    “Fibrus is privileged to be involved in this transformative project which will change the lives of people living in this part of rural and regional England. We will continue to work hard to fulfil our obligations under this exciting project.”

    Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “The government-funded Project Gigabit is a connectivity revolution - delivering lightning-fast broadband for people in some of the UK’s hardest-to-reach communities. Some 60,000 properties in rural Cumbria will benefit from the finished network, giving residents access to the fastest broadband speeds on the market.

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    “A modern digital infrastructure unlocks opportunity and powers productivity. Our £5bn investment in Project Gigabit ensures every corner of the country has access to fast, reliable connectivity - levelling the playing field for years to come”.   

    In Northern Ireland, Fibrus is well over halfway through Project Stratum, a £197m contract to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to some 85,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses in the region. The collaboration, which was part-financed by the UK Government and NI Executive, means that already over 50,000 premises have access to full-fibre gigabit-capable broadband.

    With plans to invest a staggering £700m, Fibrus remains focused on bringing full-fibre broadband to homes and businesses in remote UK towns and villages that need it most.

    The company – which by last month had delivered full fibre to 250,000 UK homes – also said it hoped the investment in network quality and customer experience will enable it to continue to grow penetration to achieve its target of one million premises in the future.

    Source: Written from press release 

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