UK FTTP scene crowded… with intentions!

Uk_dp Lately the UK broadband scene has seen a number of projects emerge. There's the Fujitsu/Virgin/Talk Talk announcement, the rebirth of CityFibre from the Ashes of i3, and now this new one called HyperOptic. In fact there are at least a couple more I'm aware of but am not at a leasure to discuss.

All of these have different models and different targets, and few of them are advanced enough to be considered actually in deployment. In fact, the largest established footprint (BT included) for FTTP in Britain is currently CityFibre's 24000 homes in Bournemouth. And therein might lie the explanation for all of these initiatives. BT's relative lack of ambition when it comes to NGA creates what looks like a market opportunity for alternative private players coming into the market and addressing what BT isn't addressing… which right now looks like the whole of Britain. Funding being the key to all of these projects, I expect that some of them will never even emerge. But the fact that a free market hates a void is telling and should be a cause of concern for BT. 

What's interesting about HyperOptic is that they seem to be going for London. I've always been surprised at the fact that BT wouldn't even try to stake out that particular market since it probably represents a sizeable chunk of their revenues. If HyperOptic play their cards right, and if they get the necessary funding, and if they execute well (all important hypotheticals), they could be a new HKBN. And that would mean big trouble for BT.

Like many incumbents, BT assumed that they were the only ones who were capable of deploying an all-fiber network and that if they didn't do it, no one else would. There's a very real possibility that they got that one wrong…