CTCUnion 30 year present

CTC Union, a key technology partner of Fibre Technologies, celebrates its 30th year in business.

June 2023 saw CTC Union celebrate thirty successful years in business.

A key technology partner of Fibre Technologies, CTC Union was founded in 1993 and develops and manufactures Fibre Optic Equipment including industrial switches, media converters and a wide range of other Fibre Optic products.

CTC Union’s software development system follows the cybersecurity IEC62443 regulations for the design of Industrial & Telecom networking products. With their own in-house R&D and factory CTC Union develops and manufactures high-quality products in Taiwan.

CTC Union’s goal is to provide reliable, temperature resistant and rugged designs for mission critical systems used in harsh environments. With more than 30 years of experience in design of Telecom products, CTC Union is highly motivated to deliver various access switches and FTTP CPE products.

Fibre Technologies has been a CTC Union partner for over ten years and are experts in the product range and applications, selling CTC Union products into a number of industries.

In recognition of our long standing partnership CTC Union kindly sent us a gift in celebration of their thirty year anniversary which is now proudly displayed in our office.

We thank our partners at CTC Union for supporting our relationship and we wish them congratulations on their successful thirty years in business. We look forward to continuing our relationship

copper cable pile

BT to Extract 200 Tonnes of UK Copper Cable in 2023 UPDATE

As the UK rollout of full fibre (FTTP) broadband gathers pace, BT are increasingly turning their attention to the challenge of how to extract all of that valuable copper leftover from their legacy phone network. Initial trials have already taken place, and they now expect to extract over 200 tonnes of copper cable this year.

The complete extraction of BT and Openreach’s legacy cables and kit will be a slow process because some parts of the UK are still likely to need them for many years longer, while consumers also have to be given time to migrate. Nevertheless, Openreach’s new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network already covers 10.27 million premises, and they aim to reach 25 million by December 2026. But they recently hinted that this might grow up to 30 million by 2030 (here), which would only leave a tiny portion of premises stuck on ancient copper, or even aluminium, lines.

The process of moving end-users away from copper and on to fibre optic infrastructure is already underway and that will only expand over the coming years, albeit very gradually. BT recently stated that it remained “confident” of being able to “recover” an estimated 200,000 tonnes of copper from their old legacy network through the 2030s.

Read the full story here.

pound money uk piggy bank savings broadband

Citizens Advice Claim 1 Million UK People Disconnected Broadband in Last Year

A new survey of over 6,000 adults in the UK, which was conducted by consumer charity Citizen’s Advice, claims to have uncovered that “up to” 1 million broadband customers “disconnected” their broadband ISP connection over the past year because the cost-of-living crisis left them unable to afford it.

The survey itself included 1,215 respondents known to be in receipt of Universal Credit (state benefits). Overall, some 6% of people claiming Universal Credit said they had stopped spending on broadband altogether, which compares to just 1% of respondents not on Universal Credit.

However, what’s not clear is where these people went (e.g. did they fall back to mobile data, stay disconnected or borrow a neighbour’s service?), although we assume that they must have found some sort of solution because the aforementioned survey was “conducted online“. Sadly, the survey didn’t dig into this, and so we’re missing some vital context.

Read the Full Story Here

ADVA logo e1637750200725

Enhancing Openreach Optical Spectrum Access (OSA)

If you already have, or are thinking of implementing, a managed service using Openreach’s Optical Spectrum Access then Fibre Technologies and our partner ADVA can help you get the most out of it.

OSA Filter Connect is an enhancement to the fully managed base product offering that enables you to access the underlying dark fibre, via spare ports on the filter, with your own DWDM equipment. This effectively gives you your own virtual dark fibre with all the key benefits that dark fibre offers – like the freedom to control and increase bandwidth usage at no extra cost – without compromising on service and maintenance levels.

 Openreach will maintain a minimum of one managed wavelength for you, although you can choose to have multiple managed wavelengths on the service from them. All the other filter ports are available for you to deploy your own equipment over, with each channel able to support up to 100G.

In this way Filter Connect provides you the best of both worlds; top-class service from Openreach who will look after the fibre and managed wavelengths with 24/7 monitoring together with the flexibility for you to develop and manage your own services over the spare channels on the optical filter.

Since the OSA service is built using the ADVA product set, FTL and ADVA are the perfect consultancy and product partners to assist you in maximising the ROI from your OSA service.

If you would like more details, please email sales@fibre.co.uk

Trooli engineer near manhole 7

Trooli Launch Cheaper 150Mbps Plan on UK Full Fibre Network

Alternative broadband ISP Trooli, which is rolling out a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across parts of England and originally aspired to cover 1 million premises by the end of 2024 (so far they claim to have covered 275k), has finally launched a cheaper entry-level 150Mbps tier.

Just to recap. Trooli’s fibre build has slowed to a crawl in recent months and the operator has since become somewhat of an acquisition target for various investors, including several rival operators (example). The provider needs more investment to continue their deployment, which is something that they’ve so far been unable to secure. Questions also surround how much take-up their network has been able to generate.

In the past we’ve mentioned that one of the provider’s problems is that their cheapest tier was a 300Mbps plan for £35 per month, which is better than fine for most people. But it may not be enough to attract consumers with only limited or basic requirements and who may be paying less for a slower FTTC tier on another ISP.

Read the full story here.

scotland 3d broadband map uk 1

447,170 Premises in Scotland Need Help to Get Gigabit Broadband

The Scottish Government has published a new Public Review (PR) consultation for Scotland, which reveals that some 447,170 premises might need state aid help under the UK Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit broadband rollout scheme in order to access 1Gbps speeds (rising to 1,281,434 if including ‘Under Review‘ premises).

The project, which is targeted at upgrading areas in the final 20% of the UK (5-6 million premises) where commercial investment models tend to fail, seeks to ensure that a minimum of 85%+ of UK premises can access a gigabit-capable broadband ISP connection by the end of 2025, before reaching “nationwide” coverage (realistically c.99%) by the end of 2030 (here and here).

NOTE: Commercial builds – mostly in urban areas – have largely already pushed gigabit coverage to around 70% of Scotland and rising (mix of FTTP and Hybrid Fibre Coax).

However, the first step – before procurements can begin and contracts be awarded to suppliers – is to identify precisely which areas are not expected to benefit from gigabit speeds under existing commercial builds, which covers related plans for the next 3 years. This is known as an Open Market Review (OMR). Only once you have the answer to that, can you identify where public funding will be needed to help address market failure.

Read the full story here

CityFibre Optical Network Connections

Spring UK Budget 2023 – Full Expensing May Help FTTP and 5G Rollout

The Chancellor of the UK Government, Jeremy Hunt, has today announced the Spring 2023 Budget, which sadly made no mention of any extra support for gigabit broadband or 5G mobile deployments. But the new “full expensing” measure could help to bring down the cost of some related plant and machinery (capital expenses).

Firstly, we weren’t expecting to see any major “new” broadband and mobile related infrastructure funding announcements from the Government this time around, which is because they’re already running two such schemes. The first one is their £1bn Shared Rural Network project (progress update), which aims to extend geographic 4G based mobile (mobile broadband) coverage to 95% of the UK by end of 2025 (it will help 5G too).

The second one is their £5bn Project Gigabit programme, which aims to make gigabit-capable (1Gbps+) broadband ISP networks available to at least 85% of UK premises by the end of 2025 and then “nationwide” by 2030 (Winter 2023 Progress Update). The project consists of several support schemes, including vouchers (£210m), funding to extend Dark Fibre in the public sector (£110m) and gap-funded deployments with suppliers (rest of the funding).

Read the full story here.

fibre optic uk cables gigapixel very compressed height 1000px

INCA Accuses Ofcom of Putting UK Full Fibre Rollout at Risk UPDATE

The Independent Networks Co-operative Association, which represents UK alternative broadband ISP networks, has today warned Ofcom that “more than £25bn worth of investment” to improve the UK’s digital infrastructure “will be directly threatened” if Openreach is allowed to introduce new FTTP wholesale price discounts (Equinox 2).

Just to recap. Openreach are set to introduce a new round of wholesale discounts on their full fibre broadband products from April 2023 (here). The move is intended to help their ISPs stay competitive with newer alternative networks (Summary of UK Full Fibre Builds) and further reduce the price of related packages, which will in turn boost take-up by consumers and aid the move away from copper lines.

As we’ve previously said, the discounts under Equinox 2 are not as dramatic as Equinox 1, with smaller changes to rentals and some reductions in connection charges. Nevertheless, more than a few AltNets view the move as being anticompetitive (here), with CityFibre even going so far as to lodge a Competition Act complaint with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Ofcom (here).

Openreach’s smaller rivals carry a lot of risk due to being in the earliest stages of investment and build, but many of which have previously enjoyed a market where the operator was traditionally much more expensive. This made it easier for them to grow take-up, attract investment and gain support from ISPs to join alternative wholesale options. But at the same time, they fear that Openreach’s response (more discounts) may be putting all of that at risk.

However, last month saw Ofcom take the “provisional” position not to intervene (here), which the regulator said was because Openreach’s offer is “not anti-competitive and is consistent with the rules we consulted on before introducing them under our market review in 2021.” INCA has now responded to the related consultation and their reaction is much the same as it was last December (here).

Read the full story here.

Brillband app based broadband logo

Broadband ISP Brillband Secures £475,000 Investment Boost

Glasgow-based ISP Brillband, which at its launch last year (here) chose to quirkily describe itself as the “world’s first … app-based broadband provider“, has secured an additional £475k investment from “digital infrastructure banking experts based in Australia and Norway-based angel investors” to help expand across the UK.

In case anybody has forgotten, Brillband currently only sells Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband packages over CityFibre’s network in Scotland. At launch this was only available to parts of Glasgow and Renfrewshire, but they’ve since gone live across areas of Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Inverness and Stirling to match CityFibre’s current footprint.

The new investment is said to value the company at £5.4m, although valuing a new ISP before it’s had time to build a strong customer base – in this already over-crowded market of broadband providers – is not a task for the faint of heart. The provider needs to be given time to show that it can break into the market successfully, ideally without breaking itself in the process.

6g uk mobile broadband

The First 6G Mobile Broadband Networks Could Surface in 2028


The Government of South Korea has set somewhat of a marker down for the world this week after announcing that they would aim to bring forward the timetable for launching the first commercial 6G based mobile network, which would see it being introduced from 2028 instead of 2030 (with pre-6G trials staring in 2026).

At present, the 6G standard is still in the early R&D phase, and most people didn’t expect to see the first commercial builds until around 2030. But it is widely expected to be aiming for theoretical peak data rates of up to 1Tbps (Terabits per second) – or 1000Gbps if you prefer – and may be able to harness radio spectrum up to the TeraHertz (THz) bands, while also using AI optimisations, new antenna designs and other changes to improve network efficiency.

However, hitting such speeds in the real-world is a much bigger challenge, due to various reasons, such as the highly variable mobile environment (weather, buildings, trees and device choice all impact signal quality). Not to mention the high cost of needing to deploy an extremely dense and complex network, which is needed to help overcome the huge problems with weak signals and other obstacles (e.g. building lots of new masts tends to upset people).

Blog Categories


[instagram-feed num=6 cols=3 imagepadding=2.5]
Looking for Fibre Distribution? →