Sure's fibre-optic broadband project has moved into its next phase after successful completion of a pilot programme.
The project will connect every property in Guernsey directly to fibre-optic broadband within the next five years.
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 over the next five years.
During the pilot phase, 2,000 homes were made ready for fibre; the next stage will accelerate the roll out to 700 additional homes every month, allowing them to be able to order fibre broadband.
Pictured: Fibre-optic broadband is said to be faster and more stable than the current option.
Sure’s Chief Executive, Justin Bellinger, said he was “thrilled” with the progress of the project.
“Today is an exciting day; fibre has officially launched in Guernsey. The pilot phase has gone better than ever imagined with hundreds of homes already connected to fibre and the feedback from customers has been exceptional,” he said.
Sure’s retail team has been tracking the success of the pilot phase. Customers who have upgraded to fibre have rated the installation process 9.5/10, speed 8.8/10 and 8.9/10 overall.
One review said: “The team did a great job and potentially went above their role to ensure I was happy with the installation.”
Mr Bellinger said that the new service was over 60x faster than basic broadband.
“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,” he said.
Pictured: Every home in Guernsey will have the option to connect to fibre-optic broadband by the end of 2026.
Mr Bellinger continued: “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.”
Installation of the service is free and islanders can choose from five different speeds.
Mr Bellinger continued: “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.
Pictured: Sure will provide free battery back-up packs to all Lifeline customers.
The back up 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.
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