Addressing the Digital Divide with a 100 per cent Wholesale Fibre Provider - by Full Fibre CEO Oliver Helm

Sadly, the UK has always had a significant Digital Divide and Covid-19 has widened it dramatically. Both employers and employees now expect to work in a more flexible fashion and are understandably asking themselves: Why work from an office in a crowded city when the office can be at home?

The accelerated move to hybrid working is providing many end users with the opportunity for a better work-life balance. But, for others it will create greater inequality and less upward mobility.

Nowhere is this inequality more apparent, and important to resolve, than in education. Ofcom recently estimated that 51% of households earning £6k – £10k don’t have Internet at home, compared to 99% where earnings are over £40k. 

Strong education opportunities, both for our children and for ongoing personal development, is the best way to support our future generations and re-start the economy. 

Full fibre connectivity will become the great enabler of robust e-learning services, as well as supporting the UK’s accelerating transition to a digital-first economy. 

It has enormous, positive, effects on people’s lives. Both at work and at play it can make communication, collaboration and interaction with our surroundings effortless, seamless and instantaneous. The kicker for full fibre was that most people didn’t need it, but Covid-19 has changed that.

The solution to driving engagement without waiting for customers to hit friction points with their current solutions, is to educate consumers about the benefits full fibre broadband offers and to offset the time and effort the consumer will have to weigh against the advantages and future time savings. 

If full fibre connectivity is going to shrink the Digital Divide, develop into a long lasting next generation networks and enable future technologies such as 5G, IoT and Smart Cities, educating consumers about the benefits of full fibre, and ensuring that services are offered at an accessible price will be essential. 

Though, it will ultimately be the channel that drives uptake, and as a 100 per cent wholesale infrastructure builder, Full Fibre is in the best position to guarantee those factors and establish the foundations for future success in the channel. 

No reseller or ISP wants to have to explain to customer why they can’t get a service that their friend only a few streets down can, so we endeavour to build 100 per cent coverage across the areas we work in. 

Plus, as a wholesale-only provider, we keep our costs low and make sure you get the best price possible, so you can enjoy strong margins for years to come and deliver more cost-effective services to those who need it. 

Full fibre services are also a great way to increase customer satisfaction, as well as reduce churn and costs. 

With the right fibre connection, consumers and small businesses alike can purchase an FTTP connection and just let it run. The connection is fast and reliable, so end-user frustrations around bandwidth and downtime are rare. 

This removes many of the reasons why a customer might want to switch, reducing in-life support costs through less support calls and callouts, in turn reducing a reseller’s outgoings.

What we know is how to build efficiently and cost-effectively with an eye on the future and ensuring scalability. Our 100 per cent wholesale operation has been designed to create the competition and choice that both the channel and end-users need to ensure maximum uptake, with strong SLAs, easy integrations and competitive pricing. 

This means we can leave the things that you know - such as customer service, installation and superb support - to you, the experts. And we’re on course to connect 100,000 premises by the end of 2021, with over 500,000 by the end of 2025. 

Together, we can ensure that the forgotten market towns and rural areas that have been screaming for high-speed connectivity get the services they need to support e-commerce, e- learning and home-based digital services, as the UK recovers from the effects of Covid and the subsequent lockdowns.

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