The fibre broadband project, which is being carried out by Sure, today moves into its next phase after completion of the successful pilot programme. The island-wide infrastructure project will connect every property in Guernsey directly to fibre-optic broadband which provides a faster and more stable connection for all.
The pilot phase gave time to plan the large-scale project, test the equipment and infrastructure, and train engineers in installing the new network, so that every home can be connected in the most effective way over the next five years.
During the pilot phase some 2,000 homes were made ready for fibre; the next stage will accelerate the roll out and pass around 700 additional homes every month allowing them to be able to order fibre broadband.
Justin Bellinger, Sure Guernsey’s Chief Executive, said he’s thrilled with how the ambitious network build is going and that now even more momentum can be generated: “Today is an exciting day; fibre has officially launched in Guernsey! The pilot phase has gone better than ever imagined – hundreds of homes are already connected to fibre and the feedback from customers has been exceptional.”
Sure’s retail team has been tracking the success of the pilot phase. Those who have upgraded to fibre have rated it overall 8.9 out of 10, the installation process 9.5 out of 10 and the speed 8.8 out of 10. Comments from retail customers included:
- “Ordering fibre was simple.”
- “I was very impressed with the staff and how well everything was explained. Great service.”
- “Very professional. The property was left spotless.”
- “The team did a great job and potentially went above their role to ensure I was happy with the installation.”
- “The engineer who provided the survey appointment and the installation was so informative and polite. He was very patient and helpful with all our questions. Great service.”
Justin added: “A lot has been learnt since the start of the pilot in October and now the project can be accelerated and even more homes can be connected to the fastest network in the Channel Islands, which offers islanders speeds of up to a full 1 Gigabit-per-second - that’s over 60 times faster than today’s basic broadband.
“Fibre is going to be life changing; we depend now more than ever on digital and internet services and the network gives islanders the ability to access ultrafast speeds for gaming, HD streaming, home working, and video conferencing.
“Today marks a huge landmark in Guernsey’s telecoms history and soon 700 additional homes every month will have access to a fast, reliable and stable connection. All the broadband you will ever need is here right now and thanks to the investment from the States of Guernsey, fibre will reach every home on the island within five years.
“The installation is free and there are five different speeds to choose from. The lowest speed, which is still a consistently fast 30Mbps, will cost no more than the current basic broadband option but you’ll be getting a better service for the same price as you pay now – representing a great deal for islanders. The availability of ultrafast speeds, free installation, and greater reliability, are just some of the reasons to switch to fibre.”
The project represents an investment of £37.5m, £25m of which is coming from Sure, and up to £12.5m will be provided by the States of Guernsey.
All Lifeline customers and those who are considered vulnerable (islanders who don’t have a mobile or rely on a landline for health reasons) will be provided with a battery backup unit free of charge. This unit will ensure that the landline service continues to work in the event of a power cut. Other customers will be able to purchase a battery backup through their retail service provider.
The work is being carried out in pockets rather than parish-by-parish. In this new phase, fibre is being installed to the big five telecoms exchanges on the island and will then be expanded from there.
The island’s three retail broadband providers will get in touch with homeowners to offer to connect them to the new service when fibre reaches their area.
The roll out is targeted for completion by the end of 2026, when all 30,000 properties in Guernsey will be able to access ultrafast broadband speeds.
For more information visit the Sure website: Sure.com/fibre