The National Broadband Plan (NBP), outlined in the Isle of Man’s National Telecoms Strategy, sets out to deliver ultrafast fibre broadband (FTTP) past more than 99% of the Island’s premises.
Given the diversity of the Isle of Man's landscape and the remote nature of some of the properties, the Isle of Man Government recognised that delivery of fibre broadband to these areas would be commercially unviable and that funding should be made available to ensure that properties in nine intervention zones would have access to the service.
The National Broadband Plan started 1st July 2020, with local telecoms provider, Manx Telecom, chosen as the preferred supplier. Fibre is continuing to be rolled out to areas outside of the intervention zones, alongside the NBP. To find out more about the NBP, visit www.thinkfibre.im.
If your property falls into the commercial roll-out category, it may already be passed by ultrafast fibre broadband. Please contact your telecoms service provider to check whether it is currently available to you:
For household and business enquiries:
The NBP is currently a four year programme, if you're looking to improve your broadband performance ahead of the roll-out, speak to your current service provider or visit www.thinkfibre.im
My property is located in an intervention area, what does this mean for me?
Given the diverse nature of the Isle of Man’s landscape and the remote nature of some of the properties it would be some time before they would be passed by new fibre broadband infrastructure. The Government has proposed that funding should be made available to ensure that all properties on the Island have access to high speed broadband services in a reasonable time frame. If your property is located in an intervention area it means that new high speed internet services will now be installed where in the past there would be no planned commercial network.
What areas does the National Broadband Plan cover?
Given the nature of the Island there are rural and ultra-rural premises in all areas across the Island. The scheme therefore covers multiple areas across the Island in every parish.
There are around 41,000 premises on the Island and the Government will be providing funding to reach 12,345 of them which would not, under normal circumstances, be considered commercially viable. Manx Telecom, as the government's preferred supplier, will be delivering the new fibre network past the remaining premises.
What is the procurement process?
The procurement process is the method the Government used to choose its preferred supplier to deliver the National Broadband Plan. The tender process contained a detailed service specification and rollout obligations on the designated operator. The core service will be 100Mbps and the top-end service will be 1Gbps.
When will you make the decision on your preferred supplier?
The Government has chosen Manx Telecoms as its preferred supplier to deliver the National Broadband Plan. The rollout has now started.
How much will it cost me?
The Government has chosen its preferred supplier to deliver a wholesale service which can be used to provide high speed broadband services by any retail operator. It will be the decision of the retail operator to determine the cost and package of services they offer.
How will I connect it to my home?
Once the new fibre has been installed and commissioned in your area, you will be able to place an order to connect from your licensed operator. It does not have to be with the Government's National Broadband Plan delivery partner. You will be informed by post when the new service is ready to order.
This is a new network and as such it may require additional work to connect it to your premise. An informative video from Manx Telecom is available which explains the process:
When will it be available to me?
The National Broadband Plan will take nearly 4 years to implement and due to the technical nature and potential for the need to change the profile of the rollout, see the above postcode checker regularly for updates on your area. Over 35% of the Island already has ultrafast fibre broadband available and so it might be worth checking with your internet provider to see if your area is already benefiting from these new services.
What if I am happy with my current provision and I don’t want fibre?
There are no plans, as part of the National Broadband Plan, to force anyone to migrate onto the new network.
What about the final 1%
The Department for Enterprise will be working with local operators to identify technologies that will be able to reach the ultra-rural final 1% of premises. We want to ensure that every premises will be able to access faster broadband services.
My broadband is poor now! Will I have to wait 4 years to be able to access fibre?
If your existing broadband is poor, speak with your current Service Provider who may be able to help improve your current connection, including options to improve Wi-Fi.
Why full fibre?
Full fibre is optic fibre cable connected all the way to your premises - not just the nearest green cabinet - that is capable of delivering gigabit-capable broadband speed. Fibre optic cable is the most reliable way of delivering high speed broadband connectivity.
A gigabit is the same as 1,000 megabits - so it’s a big leap forward in connection speeds that will benefit users into the future, whether at home or work.
Gigabit-capable means that the connection can handle speeds of 1,000 Megabits per second and customers can choose the package and speed that meets their needs.