5:30 PM October 3, 2022
Deals have been announced to make high-speed “full-fibre” broadband available in Islington’s estates and other council homes.
The council has reached agreements with Hyperoptic and Community Fibre, with the aim that the project will roll out to at least 90% of council homes within three years.
Full-fibre broadband is where fibre-optic cables go directly to homes, meaning internet connection speeds do not suffer due to older copper lines.
Cllr Una O’Halloran, executive member for homes and communities, said: “Fast, reliable internet is essential in our increasingly digital world and better broadband for council homes is an important part of our work to make Islington a more equal borough
“We are bringing the benefit of superfast broadband to people living on our estates and in our council homes. We are also pleased that these broadband partnerships will create apprenticeships and job opportunities in the borough.”
Residents who already have an internet provider will be able to choose whether to switch to a new provider when installation works have been completed in their area.
The council said it ran a competitive process to choose to grant wayleave agreements to those providers who committed to the greatest benefit to local residents.
The providers will cover any costs incurred by the council, and it is negotiating with other providers with the aim of offering additional options for consumers.
Community Fibre has begun planning surveys in the St Mary’s in preparation for the rollout, and says it aims to make full-fibre broadband available to all Islington council homes.
It says its Essential 10 Mbps package is available will be available at £12.50 a month.
Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre, said: “At Community Fibre, we believe that everyone should have access to the best internet to ensure growth and greater opportunities for all. Closing the digital divide is our priority. Therefore, we are focused on accelerating our full fibre rollout to facilitate better internet for everyone supported by our Community Investments and Digital Ambassadors programme.
“We are pleased to be working with Islington Council to bring London’s fastest internet to its residents at the best prices, which has held a 4.9 ‘excellent’ Trustpilot score and 96% five-star reviews – September – for the past three years.”
Hyperoptic says Clerkenwell will be online able to use its service within three months, and its Fair Fibre Plan will be available from £15 per month on a rolling contract.
Dana Tobak, CEO of Hyperoptic, said: “This partnership will make a huge difference to people living and working in Islington. We’re working with Islington Council to ensure that the right broadband plan is available for all of its residents – many will now be able to choose gigabit speeds at unbeatable prices, or take advantage of our social tariffs, and some will benefit from free broadband for a year through our Affordable Product Scheme.”
Last month the regulator Ofcom urged telecoms firms to do more to support their customers through the cost-of-living crisis after finding that 29% of customers – around eight million households – are having problems paying for their phone, broadband, pay-TV and streaming bills.
Ofcom said 97% of low-income households were still missing out on broadband ‘social tariffs’ such as those to be offered in Islington.