The largest network operator in the UK is ‘Openreach’ who, around a hundred years ago, began building the first copper telephone/telegraph network. They were part of the Post Office at that time and were known as the ‘General Post Office’(GPO). They later became ‘British Telecom’ and more recently the network building branch of that became ‘BT Openreach’, and now just Openreach.
Many of the old, copper/fibre hybrid connections we access in the UK are supplied using the Openreach network. To create more choice to the UK market, and accelerate the roll out of Full Fibre technology, more Network Opertators are emerging; including 'Alt-nets' like Lightning Fibre, who are smaller, more local and privately funded. This means that the UK will be ugraded to Full Fibre more quickly as well as keeping prices lower for consumers where we move away from the virtual monopoly of the past.
Alt-nets are companies that build their own independent telecommunications networks as an alternative to the larger (and often more expensive) networks. Alt-nets, being brand new networks, will usually build with fibre-optic cable instead of the old and outdated copper cable that most of us are used to.
As Alt-nets build Full Fibre networks from scratch and independently, they can build future-proofed networks capable of the speeds we now today and in the future, at a great price.
Additionally, as the copper network is unreliable and expensive to maintain, Openreach will stop selling the copper network 'this decade', so alternative networks are critical to the UK broadband infrastructure.
Find out more about what Full Fibre is in this article: