What is an AltNet? And what impact are they having across UK Fibre infrastructure

An AltNet is an Alternative Network Provider. Typically one that offers high speed fibre broadband packages to both homes and businesses. They compete with the UK’s big brand internet service providers who use the BT Openreach infrastructure (e.g. BT, Sky, Talk Talk) and Virgin Media which uses its own infrastructure in cities across the country. 

Crucially AltNets have their own full fibre cabled connections and do not rely on the BT Openreach or Virgin cables.  

They are having a significant impact on the UK Fibre landscape as they are expanding coverage and availability of faster gigabit broadband to more homes and businesses. According to a report by Intelligens Consulting, AltNet operators are expected to reach over 14 million premises by 2025, covering up to 50% of the UK’s population. This will help the UK to catch up with the rest of Europe in terms of fibre broadband development.

IDNet is currently live with CityFibre and FullFibre Fibre Heroes with several other AltNets soon to become available as an alternative to BT Openreach. 

Anyone can run a simple availability check using their postcode on the IDNet website. IDNet’s real-time systems will let you know if any of the AltNets we work with have a presence in your area.  

The advantages of signing up to an alternative network can include faster speeds in areas where BT Openreach have not upgraded to fibre to the premises (FTTP). Customers also get more choice. 

The disadvantages often cited against AltNets such as limited national availability, patchy regional coverage, fewer package choices and bundles, less customer support resource and router compatibility issues are typically negated when accessing an AltNet through a reseller like IDNet. 

Rest assured that IDNet will always signpost you to the best options in your area for your specific requirements. Plus, we handle all front line customer queries, provide you with compatible hardware and manage the installation process on your behalf.

AltNets are something to be embraced and can empower previously underserved communities. The best way to access them is through an ISP that you know and trust.

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