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Telecoms and property specialists join forces to accelerate ultrafast broadband roll-out on the Isle of Wight

Internet Service Provider WightFibre, telecoms law firm Trenches Law, and property specialist BSC Management IW, have joined forces to accelerate the roll-out of ultrafast broadband to residents on the Isle of Wight.

WightFibre’s £90m project is already well underway, with 27 000 homes now having access to the island’s gigabit Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network, with the help of Trenches Law’s wayleave experts.

But with work still to be done ahead of their late 2022 target, and properties seeking access to greater connectivity now more so than ever in light of COVID-19, the Trenches Law team is also now supporting BSC.

Founded by Virgin Media’s former head of legal Sharon McDermott – who also held the company’s Head of Wayleave, statutory and partner compliance role – SRA-accredited Trenches Law has helped unlock access to thousands of residential and commercial properties throughout the UK, in just over four years.

And with high-rise buildings among the hardest to navigate when it comes to wayleave permissions, a new collaboration between Trenches Law and apartment block specialist BSC made perfect sense.

“The island’s ultrafast fullfibre infrastructure is evolving faster than ever before, which is particularly great news for apartment complexes with typically limited broadband connectivity,” commented Rebecca Blake, BSC director. “But we still understand the challenges that operators face in both urban and rural areas, when it comes to installing new telecoms services on private land.

“We’ve therefore joined forces with Trenches Law so that we can better understand the wayleave process, enabling any concerns to be addressed smoothly and efficiently, for the benefit of all stakeholders. This should translate into a better level of service for our clients and greater satisfaction levels, not to mention the ongoing future-proofing of the Isle of Wight’s connectivity.”

Sharon McDermott added: “There has been a significant amount of change in the telecoms sector over the past few years, but demand for full fibre coverage has never been greater, even in hard-to-reach areas.

“The Government’s target to deliver a technology-neutral, gigabit-capable network across 85% of the country by the end of 2025, may have been considered by many as a ‘watered down’ version of the UK’s original target. And there is still a lot of work to be done.

“That’s why telcos, landlords, property firms and legal specialists like ourselves need to collaborate – to make this highly sought-after infrastructure a reality. We’re pleased that our knowledge is being put to good use on the Isle of Wight and we look forward to releasing more residents from ‘locked’ areas, whether we need to rely on the Electronic Communications Code or not.”

Trenches Law is currently taking steps to ensure tenants have access to an on-the-ground contact, should they have any queries about the wayleave, even out of office hours.

Adding a final note, WightFibre’s CEO John Irvine said: “WightFibre’s Gigabit Island project will see the roll-out of full fibre, ultrafast, future-proof broadband to around 75,000 homes and business on the island in the next few years with over 27,000 homes already passed. Trenches Law has been critical in the success of the project to date securing wayleaves and access agreements to keep the roll-out on track and to maximise the number of properties which can be connected – now including all those managed by BSC.”

Trenches Law was established in 2017 to bring together an industry-renowned group of telecoms professionals who could provide strategic wayleave support and legal services. Clients include toob, Ogi, Virtual1 and Luminet, to name just a few.

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