The partnership between Edinburgh-headquartered Commsworld and Tewkesbury-based Netomnia, which started in 2021, comes as Commsworld begins the first phase of its 15-year contract that was announced earlier this year.
It will see 5km of new Fibre To The Home (FTTH) built a week, and over 130km in total in a move which sees Commsworld and Netomnia invest up to £62m, delivering gigabit speed broadband of up to 1Gps to residential communities throughout the likes of Motherwell, Coatbridge, Bellshill and Airdrie.
Included among them are areas with no access to previous gigabit connectivity of this standard, or indeed at all – providing a huge boost in the fight to tackle digital poverty in the local authority region.
Through this partnership Commsworld – which is installing its own full-fibre connectivity to council buildings, sites and schools – and Netomnia will also use Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) to share duct and pole infrastructure. This “build once” approach aims to minimise the disruption that builds of this kind can bring to roads and streets in the region.
Both Commsworld and Netomnia hope that a successful delivery in North Lanarkshire will lead to further opportunities to work together across the UK.
Through its nationwide ultra-fast Optical Core Network, and as the first network operator to be on every one of the UK’s eight Internet exchanges, Commsworld aims to deliver transformative connectivity to areas the length and breadth of Britain by connecting them to speeds of up to 10G now, and with scalability of up to 100G, as well as building capacity for the future.
Meanwhile, Netomnia is committed to delivering a multi-gigabit broadband network across the UK. It has a target of achieving more than a million premises passed by 2023, and has already brought FTTH benefits to areas in Scotland including Falkirk, with broadband infrastructure delivered to around 70,000 premises to the town and the surrounding areas.
Bruce Strang, Commsworld Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Netomnia, a company which like us is fully committed to the rapid roll-out of high capacity, resilient, and future-proofed pure fibre connectivity to towns, cities and regions throughout the UK.
“Together we have begun delivering our commitment to North Lanarkshire to provide better broadband connections to the local authority area, through its schools, offices and businesses. Also, we will provide North Lanarkshire’s community organisations and residents with all of the socially inclusive benefits that more resilient, ultra-fast connectivity can bring.
“These new connections, which due to be completed by the end of 2023, are the beginning of what we believe Commsworld and Netomnia can achieve in the future.”
Jeremy Chelot, CEO at Netomnia, said: "Full-fibre broadband is vital to everyday lives, providing much faster speeds than legacy copper networks and allowing residents and businesses to do everything they need online with ease. Our partnership with Commsworld is another exciting step forward in accelerating the UK’s transition to full fibre.
“We look forward to our initial phase in North Lanarkshire which hopefully is just the beginning of our partnership as we aim to close the digital divide.”