Cowes, Isle of Wight, 8 November 2021:
West Wight set for full-fibre broadband in 2022
The WightFibre full-fibre Gigabit Island rollout continues at pace with full-fibre broadband service now available to over 30,000 homes and businesses on the Island.
The latest milestone saw WightFibre lay a new fibre optic cable across the River Yar. This cable is part of a fibre optic ring around West Wight connecting Yarmouth, Freshwater, Totland and Brightstone to WightFibre’s new network. Following successful completion of the work to cross the river, work is due to commence in Freshwater and Yarmouth in the coming months.
Laying this fibre, although only a short distance, has been a major undertaking. Care for the environment and the local natural habitats were a primary concern. Various permissions were required from private landowners, the Isle of Wight Council, the Maritime Management Organisation and Crown Estates. This included a public consultation period earlier this year. Close liaison with Natural England has ensured that work is being done outside of breeding and nesting times for wildlife and any potential environmental impact mitigated. Yarmouth Harbour Commission provided invaluable advice and assistance. A number of environmental reports were required including a ‘Habitats Regulation Assessment’, a ‘Water Framework Directive Assessment’, and a ‘Flood Risk Assessment’. These were carried out by Island based environmental specialists ‘Eagle Eye Environmental Solutions’. The work was carried out by WightFibre and RS Divers, assisted by Verevo Nexus Fibre Solutions.
WightFibre’s Chief Executive Officer, John Irvine, said: “WightFibre has made great progress in building the UK’s first Gigabit Island on the Isle of Wight, having already made full-fibre broadband available to over 30,000 premises.
West Wight is often an after-thought in major infrastructure projects, but from the outset WightFibre have always planned to include West Wight in our rollout. This short cable under the River Yar is a major component of our rollout so that we have two routes to West Wight. This will ensure we can provide the most reliable service possible.
By the end of 2022 over 90% of homes in West Wight will be able to receive WightFibre full-fibre broadband”.