Having completed his first month as CEO at Spring Fibre, Gareth Greppellini caught up with Fibre Provider to discuss what the future holds for the fledgling altnet.
Nick Parbutt struck upon the idea behind toob while on holiday during the summer of 2017. At the time, he was serving as the Strategy and Wholesale Director at Vodafone and had noted that Openreach was reluctant to invest in full fibre.
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.