Negotiations have now concluded between JT (formerly Jersey Telecom) and its specialist contractor Frontline CH2M Hill Services Limited (CH2M), regarding the future structure of the Gigabit Jersey (GBJ) project. Both companies remain fully committed to GBJ, which will see all island broadband lines converted to fibre-optic cable by the end of 2016. With the GBJ scheme reaching the end of its first year, a review has showed that while two of the three core elements are progressing very well – namely the deployment of fibre-optic cables and construction of the main network infrastructure – the numbers of customers connected to the new network has dropped behind the forecasted schedule. This slower-than-expected progress has prompted JT and CH2M to sign a fresh commercial contract relating to the delivery of the remainder of the project, and in future CH2M will be increasing its specialist GBJ management team which will now be based within JT’s offices.
JT CEO Graeme Millar commented: ‘JT is committed to bringing quicker, more resilient and higher quality broadband to the island, and will be completing the Gigabit Jersey project on time by the end of 2016 … It is correct to say that we have not connected as many customers as we planned to, over the first twelve months of a 60-month project; but it is also correct to say that Jersey is already now in the top 25 places in the world for the relative number of premises connected to fibre broadband, and ahead of the UK and France. It’s easy to miss the fact that we have already connected more than 2,000 homes, and that number will increase dramatically over the remaining four years’.