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WightFibre becomes first UK telecoms operator to complete big copper switch-off

Megan Robinson
August 30, 2022

WightFibre’s entire network is now fully optical right into the customer premise

WightFibre has announced that it has completed the big copper switch-off which is ten years ahead of the rest of other UK operators.

BT Openreach set a target date for its big copper switch-off for 2025, which makes the Isle of Wight three years ahead of the rest of the UK.

The internet service provider, based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, has been operating a cable network since 2001 but started to rollout a new full-fibre network across the island in 2018.

The final few phone-only customers were upgraded over the summer which allowed the old copper network to be decommissioned.

Each home serviced by WightFibre now has its own dedicated fibre optic cables which are said to provide top quality broadband speeds.

WightFibre CEO John Irvine 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 cases WightFibre helped with these changes to persuade customers to upgrade.

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


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