In the pilot period, expected to run for some six months, the telco will install fibre into a small number of homes. It will contact people directly when a connection is available for them.
The full roll-out of the five-year project, where the States is providing a third of the funding at £12.5m., should start around April next year and be completed in 2026. Sure is funding the remaining £25m. investment required.
‘The States’ decision is good news for Guernsey as we can now proceed with this landmark project,’ said Justin Bellinger, chief executive at Sure Guernsey.
‘Fibre is going to bring faster speeds to all 30,000 households across the island and will support islanders’ increasingly digital lifestyles. That means seamless working and learning from home and access to high-quality HD entertainment and gaming.
‘Crucially, it also demonstrates Guernsey’s ability to compete in the digital age on an international scale. We’re confident it will help our island home stand out as an adopter of new technologies and a pioneer of new ways of working.’
The States supported the project unanimously last Friday.
Deputy Neil Inder, president of the Committee for Economic Development, said: ‘This is a significant investment in Guernsey’s future as we expect increased productivity across the board, as local businesses will be able to work remotely and develop further their digital capabilities with confidence, wherever they are.
‘We’re very pleased to be taking this step forward in revolutionising Guernsey’s broadband network.’
The project will also lead to more job opportunities at Sure. The company has started recruiting for new team members needed to roll out the project.
Most roles require no technical experience and training will be provided, the company said.
Sure has launched a dedicated website for the project, www.guernseyfibre.gg
Much like the current broadband network, Sure’s new fibre network will also be available to other telecommunications operators to access on a fair and equitable basis as regulated by the Guernsey Competition and Regulatory Authority. This means that all islanders will be able to choose their supplier for fibre.