WightFibre is the first UK telecommunications operator in the UK to switch off their old copper network

  • WightFibre’s entire network is fully optical right into the customer’s home
  • The Isle of Wight is now enjoying world class digital connectivity with WightFibre’s state of the art network.

WightFibre announced the completion of their Big Copper Switch-off a full 10 years ahead of the rest of the UK.

WightFibre has been operating a hybrid fibre-coaxial network (cable) network on the Isle of Wight since 2001. In 2018 WightFibre commenced the rollout of a new full-fibre network across the Island. Earlier this year the final few cable customers were upgraded to the new network.

Over the summer the last few phone-only customers were upgraded allowing the old copper network to finally be decommissioned.

WightFibre’s entire network is now fully optical right into the customer premise. Each home has it own dedicated fibre optic cables – no sharing with neighbours – providing world-class broadband speeds.

John Irvine, CEO, said:
“Our big copper switch-off was a major undertaking. For most customers the migration to full-fibre was seamless – their existing phones and analogue devices are supported on the new network with the notable exception of rotary dial telephones – thankfully there were only a few of those.

A small number of customers with very old alarm systems did need to upgrade their alarm systems as these are incompatible with full-fibre. With business customers this extended to some older dial-up credit card machines and fax machines. In many case WightFibre helped with these changes to persuade customers to upgrade.

Overall the process ran fairly smoothly. Our customers love the new network, the faster speeds, and the much-improved reliability.”

BT Openreach has a target date of 2035 for their Big Copper Switch-off with the focus now on the PSTN switch-off (which WightFibre achieved in 2018). This places the Isle of Wight a full 13 years ahead of the rest of the UK helping make the Isle of Wight a great place to live, work and play.