Sure is rolling out a state-of-the-art fibre to the premises broadband network.
This will directly reach every property in Guernsey with a faster, more reliable connection and offer the possibility of 1 gigabit-per-second coverage for all.
That’s up to 50 times faster than today’s basic broadband. The new fibre connection will offer customers unmatched connection speeds for gaming, HD streaming, home working, and video conferencing.
The project will commence in 2022 when Sure will begin connecting properties. Representing a £37.5m investment, the rollout is targeted for completion by the end of 2026.
This ambitious network build will be supported by a capped investment from the States of Guernsey of up to £12.5m, subject to approval by the States Assembly. This is to ensure that it benefits all households in Guernsey through full, island-wide fibre coverage for every islander, whether they’re using it for entertainment, work, or learning.
The States of Guernsey’s investment will enable Sure to accelerate the programme and to ensure that that there is fibre for everyone within the timeframe.
This major investment will be a boost to the local economy with the direct impact being the creation of around 75 additional jobs and millions of pounds flowing to local suppliers, as Sure has pledged to work with Guernsey businesses wherever possible. Importantly, the impact of faster broadband on the broader economy is anticipated to be a 0.3% to 1.1% increase in GDP.
Much like the current broadband network, Sure’s new fibre network will also be available to other telecommunications operators to access on a fair and equitable basis as regulated by the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority. This means that all customers will be able to choose their supplier for fibre.
The technology being deployed in this network is world-class and a first in the Channel Islands, ensuring the network is future-proofed to deliver up to 10 gigabit-per-second, which represents speeds up to 500 times faster than today’s standard broadband.
Justin Bellinger, Sure’s Chief Executive in Guernsey, said that the network is a significant landmark in the island’s telecoms history and will cement Guernsey as a digital island: “Our Guernsey Fibre project is a huge milestone for Sure as we invest to meet the island’s future broadband needs. So much of how we live is online, from communicating with loved ones, to working from home, to watching TV, or helping our children to learn. The pandemic accelerated demand for broadband, bringing about huge changes in terms of working and learning from home as well as the take up of collaborative digital services such as video conference calling.”
“Throughout the 125 years since telephones were first introduced to Guernsey, the Bailiwick has pushed the boundaries in communication and connectivity, and this investment marks the next step in our telecoms evolution. Guernsey Fibre will provide fast, stable, reliable connections into every property and facilitate working from home, high-end gaming, top-quality streaming, and multi-device households. We’re really excited to start rolling out this game-changing network for the island.”
A fibre network will make Sure’s broadband both more efficient and more environmentally friendly. Guernsey currently has more than 500km of fibre cabling running around the island, but most homes are connected to the network via copper cabling. The amount of energy needed to send light through a fibre optic cable is considerably less than needed to transmit an electrical signal through copper.
Alistair Beak, Sure Group CEO, said: “Today’s exciting announcement will underpin Guernsey’s digital infrastructure and economy for decades to come. As well as boosting long term economic growth Sure will be creating in the region of 75 additional jobs and directing the vast majority of the £37.5m spend through local suppliers. The partial funding from the States of Guernsey will have a significant impact in ensuring island-wide coverage and an accelerated roll out within five years.
“We’re truly building a network that’s going to make a difference for everyone in Guernsey – and we’re proud to be connecting the community for a better future.”
Daragh McDermott, Managing Director, from JT said: “We made the first ‘full-fibre’ connection to homes in Guernsey in 2013 and since then have been steadily connecting customers in and around St. Peter Port. This ‘national’ fibre strategy is precisely what is needed to secure the equitable rollout of fibre services and we’re delighted that now seems to be moving forward.
“Our experience tells us that full-fibre is a vastly superior service and opens up so many new opportunities both for customers, and for the economy as a whole; there will be some disruption and inconvenience while the infrastructure is built, but it is important for the island to get behind the strategy, as the new network will serve the island well for generations.
“We’ll be working with the States of Guernsey to make sure that access to the new fibre network is fair and equitable for all service providers and look forward to completing those discussions as part of finalising the Policy Letter from the Committee for Economic Development.”
For more information on Guernsey Fibre, click here.