Former i3 Group CEO returns with ambitious broadband plan

A new venture has been announced by former CEO of the i3 Group and subsidiary H2O Networks, Elfed Thomas. Fibre network infrastructure organisation, British Fibre Networks has been created to provide an alternative network with its aim to connect pure fibre to more than 35 per cent of new homes by 2021.

With a Manchester base and a new website ( British Fibre Networks is set to work with house builder and developer partners to install a ‘pure fibre aggregator portal’ in new build homes that can connect with a greater choice of fibre networks. This is turn, says the business, will allow homeowners access to a wider market of broadband providers. The organisation says it is also in discussions with a leading price comparison site, in order to 'provide a unique platform to manage and offer the choice of ISP to customers'.

British Fibre Networks believes the combination of speed, capacity and choice will make it a compelling alternative for house builders and homeowners, to the established services available, many of which, believes the company, are largely comprised of copper connections.

As founder and CEO of i3 Group, Thomas brings with him experience in the implementation of fibre-optic networks, which includes the use of sewer networks to house cables. The group’s subsidiary, H2O Networks, however, became one of 10 companies involved in a financing scam that saw four men sentenced to a total of 44 years in jail. The investigation began in October 2010, with the subsequent crown court case starting in September 2016, and final sentencing handed down in February 2017. Thomas was found not guilty and exonerated from all charges.

Speaking about his new venture, Thomas commented: ‘Clearly there are a number of well-financed ISP entrants into the market. We ensure new homes have the fibre infrastructure which can connect with this growing choice of fibre networks. Choice and capacity to the customer is vital for a competitive platform. For too long, new homeowners and builders have been subject to a monopolistic offer, which is overpriced and never installed in time for when the customer moves in.

‘British Fibre Networks aims to address this and create a model that breaks up the monopoly of BT. Working with developers, we will deliver superior connectivity and choice to new homeowners, many of whom have previously been quoted extortionate prices for access to a patchwork copper/fibre network. It will add value for house builders, who can now offer a home with pure fibre connectivity and choice.’

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