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Telecoms expert urges policy makers to do more to attract fibre investment in Scotland

Telecoms advisors Intelligens Consulting has published its latest ‘state of fibre’ update, a comprehensive mid-year update that shows the state of fibre availability across UK council areas and latest telecoms operator investment strategies.

The award-winning telecoms consultants’ mid-year update published in June 2022 presents the latest UK fibre availability stats including councils considered as rising stars.

Iqbal Singh Bedi, Founder and Consulting Director of Intelligens Consulting said, “The market has changed significantly since the last update was published in 2021 and alternative network (altnet) fibre operators have secured £billions more investment meaning fibre availability has shot up.”

According to Intelligens Consulting fibre availability across the UK has shot up since December 2021 with an additional 8% of UK premises now served with gigabit capable fibre networks.

Six months ago, Intelligens Consulting estimated that the average fibre availability in the UK was just under 25% – this stands at just over 33% as of June 2022.

Bedi goes on to say, “A key finding of the data is that while fibre availability in London is well above the UK average, Scotland is well below the UK average and continues to suffer from under investment.”

He urges Scottish policy makers to do more to attract investment north of the border.

The update also shows that the top ten altnets in the UK have secured a total of over GBP 10 billion, which is double the tally in December 2021, to invest in some 20 million premises.

“This shows there is still a significant appetite for investment in full fibre networks,” says Bedi.

Despite the healthy appetite for investment, telecoms expert Bedi urges some caution.

“It is likely that market consolidation will occur in the next few years and competition from incumbents will increase. Smaller altnets will need to develop survival strategies by merging with other smaller altnets or participating in the Government’s Project Gigabit.”

Project Gigabit is a GBP 5 billion public subsidy grant being made available to altnets to enhance coverage in rural and hard to reach areas.

According to Intelligens Consulting’s recent analysis, participating in Project Gigabit can also enhance the enterprise valuations for alternative network operators.

You can view Intelligens Consulting’s mid-year fibre update here.

Intelligens Consulting’s expert and senior team of telecoms advisors are experienced in technology, strategy, economics, procurement and finance have supported ISPs with Project Gigabit and have pioneered local authority interventions to unlock hundreds of millions of pounds of private investment in fibre, 5G and IoT networks.

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