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Commsworld becomes first provider to consume Openreach Dark Fibre

A leading network provider has set a major industry milestone by becoming the first operator to successfully utilise the newly available Dark Fibre X (DFX) product from Openreach.

In its initial rollout, Commsworld will use 200 kilometres of Dark Fibre (unlit optical fibre) to upgrade the backhaul into its enabled exchanges across the Scottish Borders, linking the region to its national Optical Core Network with new ultrafast connectivity.

This will enable alternative, accessible and affordable connectivity to organisations throughout towns such as Jedburgh, Kelso, Duns and Peebles.

By lighting the Dark Fibre with its own optical equipment, Commsworld will be able to provide organisations and homes with flexible connectivity speeds of up to 10Gb/s, which is around 185 times the average UK download speed.

Charlie Boisseau, Chief Technical Officer at Commsworld, said: “Bringing this ultra-high-speed connectivity to more rural areas creates really exciting prospects for domestic and business users.

“Businesses won’t be limited by location anymore – we’re looking forward to seeing more businesses with dramatically faster and more robust connections flourishing in rural areas. Anyone will be able to set up a high-tech business from anywhere.”

By consuming Dark Fibre, Commsworld maintains full control of its network, allowing communities to benefit from enhanced technical capabilities and an improvement in customer service provided by the telecoms company.

Organisations of all shapes and size can benefit from the upgraded network, with many Borders SMEs consuming Commsworld’s network from its local IT partner GB Technologies.

Charlie added: “Having the first Dark Fibre services from Openreach is a real milestone for the industry. Rural connectivity is only ever as good as its backhaul, and for meaningful competition to thrive in all corners of the country, measures such as DFX are crucial.”

Katie Milligan, MD Customer, Commercial and Propositions at Openreach, said: “Commsworld has embraced dark fibre and secured an industry first to embed it into their Borders network.

“We’ve worked very closely with the industry to design the new product and it’s now out there being used to extend high-speed services and provide more choice to customers.

“Access to dark fibre helps to address one barrier to a wider full fibre roll-out. An early priority for the new Government should be to remove other barriers like fibre tax rates and access to land and property, and mandate fibre for new-build homes.

“Only by working together as an industry, with Ofcom and Government, can we crack the challenge ahead.”

DFX was made available to communications providers from August 2019, with a full launch on the 20th of December.

Commsworld has a proven track record of transforming internet connectivity across its native Scotland, having landed some of the largest ICT contracts in the country. It operates the largest privately-owned Optical Core fibre network in the UK.

The firm has delivered hundreds of kilometres of full fibre infrastructure to Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Scottish Borders, radically transforming thousands of businesses and residences with ultra-fast network speeds.

Founded in 1994, Commsworld is one of the UK’s leading Telecommunications Network Services providers. The Edinburgh-headquartered firm has offices in London, Glasgow and Aberdeen and more than 100 staff.

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