In short, copper telephone lines are old, pretty unreliable, slow down the further you go from the telephone exchange and cannot support the future bandwidth data rates required by current and emerging technologies. As the world has also transitioned to working from home, which requires more upload speed, old copper cables can't cope with today's requirements. As of the last count in 2020, the UK ranked in the bottom 3 of the EU27 countries for fibre homes covered/passed. Latvia, Lithuania & Spain ranked top with 87-91% done! Openreach has already begun to stop-sell copper lines across 550 exchange areas across the UK.
Every provider has a legal obligation to provide rollout plans to Ofcom for the coming years. This data is used to assess the missing areas from major operators' plans. There are 29.9 million homes to fibre cable across the UK. This simply can't be achieved by one or two operators. So the less commercially viable areas (particularly rural) are left behind. Government schemes such as the gigabit voucher scheme and project gigabit address these less commercially attractive areas.
No. The cost of cabling your street and your home installation is covered by the gigabit voucher scheme with a percentage of supplier contribution (us)/investment in the particular project which is determined as part of the planning and commercial due diligence.
AltNet is short for Alternative Network Provider. In the UK, hundreds of AltNet providers have been recognised as playing a vital role in fulfilling the obligation of full-fibre to every UK home by 2025, especially in more rural areas where major operators are unwilling to rollout. Currently, UK AltNet together accounts for 6.64 million fibre connected homes. There are 29.9 million homes in the UK, so that’s just over 22% of the UK with fibre provided by an AltNet provider. Without AltNet providers assisting in the UK fibre rollout plan, it wouldn’t be possible to reach full coverage by 2025 (or by 2030!).
Yes. Ofcom very recently announced and is implementing a One Touch Switch (OTS) system that will allow easy switching between different networks from 1st April 2023. This includes switching between different providers' networks including AltNets. A centralised system is being put in place to allow all service providers to essentially wholesale rent each other cables to provide services to each other. Much in the same way it works on Openreach’s network and switching between Sky, TalkTalk, Plusnet for example.
If you wish to make further savings, there is no requirement to keep it at all. We find the vast majority of customers now use mobiles. If you wish to you can either keep it with your existing provider on a landline only plan or alternatively, we can transfer your number to a digital landline service that works over your fibre broadband. It’s £6.99 a month and includes unlimited calls. See our website for more details.
As the gigabit voucher scheme is both provider and property owner led, during the commercial due diligence, a set amount of vouchers are allocated to a particular project (depending on the cost of network build). To ensure that the fibre service is utilised, amongst other reasons, vouchers enable the government to assess the community requirement and uptake. The provider must also achieve enough vouchers to reach a tipping point and ensure the project goes ahead.
Residential properties must not have received funding for a gigabit-capable service. Businesses must have fewer than 250 employees, an annual turnover of less than €50 million, a balance sheet of less than €43 million and not received more than €200,000 of State Aid in the last three years. (This is the de minimus limit, and it applies to agriculture so most farms will be eligible). The business must not be a subsidiary and/or under the control of a large non-SME entity. The businesses must operate from the premises for which the voucher is being applied (employees working from home are not eligible).
If we don’t achieve enough registered and confirmed vouchers, the project is at risk of being cancelled. It can also cause a funding shortfall which means fewer homes connected or properties cabled passed. We want to ensure every property has a fibre broadband connection available and we really urge everyone to strongly consider registering for a voucher and switching. Together we have one chance to get this right or simply face years of slow broadband speeds.
It's unlikely, but it can happen. We will try to understand why and if we believe it's a mistake we will challenge DCMS on your behalf. If we’re unsuccessful you can either choose to pay for the installation yourself or we can cancel the order and you are not committed to taking our service.
If you haven’t already fully registered for a voucher, visit https://www.vispa.net/voucher and begin the process. You’ll need to submit your contact details, and business name (if you’re a business) and choose a broadband tariff that you would be happy to subscribe to once we connect you. All this information is required and full signup is required before we are able to request a voucher from the gigabit scheme. <br><br>Once we request the voucher, you will receive an email from gov.uk asking you to confirm the order/voucher. It’s vital that you click the button to confirm. The voucher is then issued and we have 12 months to connect your property. Once you’re connected you receive another email from gov.uk which you must also confirm your connection and speed
No. Our costs, along with any sub-contractor costs and required infrastructure for rolling out the fibre network are submitted as part of the project pre-approval process. All costs are benchmarked against market pricing by DCMS and either approved or rejected and sent back for review or further quotes from alternative suppliers. Once the project has been completed, a stringent audit is carried out which includes a site visit by a third-party technology company to ensure that we have carried out the work as agreed.
Once our new green cabinet is installed, we will immediately start to cable streets and enable properties and work strategically outwards from the cabinet. Some properties will be connected within weeks, and others may take as long as 12 months, but we’re aiming to do it much quicker. Some factors can slow us down, such as blocked underground ducts (cable tubes) and defective telegraph poles. Whilst the civil work is carried out to resolve, we may adapt our plan and connect properties in a different order. We will be able to give a rough indication once we start the work.
As the rollout may take up to 12 months, we do have some flexibility over when we connect your property, but we’re a nice bunch of people (also based locally), so we’re happy to get you connected and charge you £1 per month (up to a maximum of 6 months) until your existing contract expires. This gives us an 18-month flexibility window to ensure you’re not left out.
As part of the due diligence and commercial viability with DCMS, we determine a minimum contract period that meets the terms and conditions of the gigabit voucher scheme and allows us to recoup our investment. Our minimum contract term is 24 months but based on our previous network rollouts our customers tend to stay with us for an average of 5 years! We’re not a new kid on the block, Vispa has been around since 1999 and we’re confident that we will go that extra mile and exceed your expectations.
Again, this is factored in from the outset and we’ll not be increasing the price. No small print, no nasty surprises. In fact, compared to other providers, we’ll save you at least £200 per year.
Unlike copper cables, fibre isn’t affected by cable distances so the speed you subscribe to is what you will get. We offer you a minimum speed guarantee and it won’t drop below. Guaranteed!
Of course. Anytime you wish to upgrade, let us know and in most cases, we can upgrade the line instantly. We don’t charge to change your tariff as other providers do.