First Fibrus broadband connections in Cumbria following Project Gigabit investment

Fibrus is pleased to announce that the first homes have been connected as part of the new £108m gigabit-capable broadband scheme to improve connectivity in rural Cumbria. This comes after the UK government awarded the company with the delivery of the breakthrough initiative late last year.

Fibrus was awarded the Project Gigabit contract for Cumbria in November 2022, with a remit for the provision of full fibre broadband to around 60,000 premises in the area. It has taken just six months for residents in Staveley to experience the benefits of the fastest broadband on the market thanks to new technology provided by Fibrus. All newly connected properties in Staveley are now using cutting edge XGS-PON technology which offers broadband speeds of up to 2Gbps.

Project Gigabit is the biggest broadband roll-out in British history, backed with £5bn from the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) to deliver lightning-fast broadband connections to hard-to-reach and rural areas that would otherwise have missed out. Gigabit capable networks are fast and future-proofed, allowing users to work, stream and scroll online without the battle for bandwidth or disruption often experienced with ageing networks.

Tens of thousands of rural homes and businesses will be able to plug into faster connections in the new network thanks to Project Gigabit, enabling Cumbrian communities to take full advantage of the benefits full fibre broadband can offer.

Fibrus’ Chief Delivery Officer Conor Harrison said, “From signing the contract late last year, to connecting the first homes in Staveley within six months illustrates the high speed of delivery with which Fibrus has become synonymous.”

“The efficient execution of this work is testament to the commitment, dedication, and skill of our team members, who are equipped and ready to deliver full fibre broadband to the people of Cumbria.

“Fibrus is privileged to be involved in this transformative project which will change the lives of people living in this part of rural and regional England. We will continue to work hard to fulfil our obligations under this exciting project.”

Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “The government funded Project Gigabit is a connectivity revolution – delivering lightning-fast broadband for people in some of the UK’s hardest to reach communities. Some 60,000 properties in rural Cumbria will benefit from the finished network, giving residents access to the fastest broadband speeds on the market.

“A modern digital infrastructure unlocks opportunity and powers productivity. Our £5bn investment in Project Gigabit ensures every corner of the country has access to fast, reliable connectivity – levelling the playing field for years to come”.

Maxine and Keith Brown from Staveley, who were among the first customers connected, were delighted with the efficient installation process and have been enjoying the improved speeds they are getting from their new fibre broadband service. Keith said:

“It’s good to hear that the government is investing in full fibre broadband in rural areas across Cumbria.  Many properties get a terribly slow broadband connection on the old copper service.  They’ll be pleased to be connected to fibre so they can do more things online at home.”

“The people who installed our internet were absolutely wonderful. They were in and out with no bother, and everything was explained to us. I’d recommend Fibrus to anybody.” Said Maxine.

In Northern Ireland, Fibrus is well over halfway through Project Stratum, a £197m contract to deliver gigabit capable broadband to some 85,000 hard-to-reach homes and businesses in the region. The collaboration, which was part-financed by the UK Government and NI Executive, means that already over 50,000 premises have access to full fibre gigabit capable broadband.

With plans to invest a staggering £700m, Fibrus remains focused on bringing full fibre broadband to homes and businesses in remote UK towns and villages that need it most

Fibrus scores with new £30k sports fund for grassroots clubs

Local full fibre broadband company Fibrus has announced a new initiative for young people, which will invest £30,000 into grassroots sports clubs across Northern Ireland. 

Clubs and organisations who apply to the new Fibrus Play it Forward fund could avail of up to £1,000 in direct investment for new kits and equipment, to improve their existing facilities, or towards training fees. The fund opens on Tuesday 30th May 2023.

Dominic Kearns, Chief Executive of Fibrus, said:

“Sport and clubs are the heart of many of the towns and villages we operate in and Fibrus has committed to investment not only through the build of our critical infrastructure, but in the people and kids within those communities that represent them with pride.

Now, more than ever, it’s important for children to have access to digital connectivity for education and communication. Yet, it’s equally important for them to take time to take time away from their devices, make friends, and have fun. That’s why we’re launching a new sports fund to support clubs that help children get outside and connect with each other.”

Catriona Henry, Sponsorship Specialist at Fibrus, said:

We are delighted to announce the launch of our Fibrus Play it Forward fund, which deepens our commitment to bringing young people and communities together through sport.

“We encourage sports clubs from across the region to apply before the deadline of 27th June, to make a difference in your local club.”

As well as its corporate sponsorship deals with Antrim GAA and Coleraine Football Club, Fibrus has supported various grassroots sporting organisations across Northern Ireland. Some of these teamsinclude: Hillsborough Junior Girls, Dundrum Cricket Club, Coleraine Young Girls Rugby team, among others.

Ian Wright, from Dundrum Cricket Club who benefitted from Fibrus’ support last year, highlighted the importance of sport to the kids at the club.

“Juniors in Dundrum Cricket Club are now able to attend development camps throughout the wintermonths, an opportunity not previously available due to funding restrictions. This not only means young people can train year-round, leading to a more active lifestyle, it also opens up opportunities for our Juniors to go further within the sport, and subsequently act as role models for other children to get involved in cricket.”

The Fibrus ‘Play it Forward Fund’ will be made available in two tranches, with the first round opening on 30th May and closing 27th June, and the second round opening in October later this year.

Sports clubs across Northern Ireland and Cumbria can apply to the £30,000 fund via 

Diversity Day 2023 Q&A

Belen has recently joined the Fibrus team and is originally from Puerto Vallarta in Mexico 🇲🇽, having relocated to Northern Ireland 10 years ago.

Belen is passionate about celebrating everyone’s differences in the workplace, and this Diversity Day, we chatted to her about what diversity means to her.

  • Name:

Belen Dueñas Carranza

  • Position:

Senior Associate, Learning & Development

  • Where are you from?

I am from Puerto Vallarta, a beautiful beach town located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The capital is Jalisco, which is known as the capital of mariachi and tequila.

  • What brought you to Northern Ireland?

I met my partner working on a cruise ship many years ago. He grew up in Northern Ireland and we decided to settle in Belfast as I fell in love with the island of Ireland.

  • What do you love most about NI?

NI is such a beautiful place. I love the landscape and its endless shades of green. Belfast city is vibrant and full of live, with plenty to do. I enjoy road trips to the countryside, taking in the beautiful views and the fresh air. I still remember the first time we were stopped by sheep in the middle of the road, just like a postcard I’d seen before of Ireland.

  • Do you have a favourite place in NI?

Many! 😊 I love the North Coast. I am a fan of nature. Giant’s Causeway would be one of my favourite places. I am fascinated with the hexagonal-shaped stones there.

Nature is just beautiful in general, and it is amazing how these stones are still in such good condition after millions of years.

  • What does diversity mean to you?

To me diversity is about recognising individual’s differences, such as our nationality, personality, education, life experience, beliefs, age, gender, religion, values, etc. It’s everything that makes each of us different, unique, and special. I also think diversity is about respecting, empowering and valuing these differences.

  • How does Fibrus advocate for diversity in the workplace?

I think promoting diversity in the workplace is a key focus for Fibrus. We have a diverse workforce, with colleagues from different walk of life, from different parts of the world, all working within the organisation in different departments.

Although the company has not been established that long but they have already won a number of well recognised awards and accreditations such as “We Invest in People” by Investors in People and the “Advancing Diversity in the Workplace” award by Woman in Business.  There is also Diversity & Inclusion training for staff to promote awareness.

  • How has Fibrus made you feel included and supported in the workplace?

I have only been with Fibrus for one month but from the day I started, I have felt so welcomed. Everyone has been very friendly and approachable. This welcoming culture is at all levels within the organisation. It gives me a sense of belonging and I am so happy to be part of this family.

  • Do you have any hobbies/what do you like to do in your free time?/ When are you at your happiest?

I love travelling and experiencing new culture, especially trying different types of food from different parts of the world. I love dancing too.

I am a crazy cat lover, and I can watch cat videos on social media for hours. 😻

Family is very important to me. I am happiest when I can spend time with my family and make memories with them.

Investors in People award for full fibre broadband provider Fibrus

Fibrus has been awarded the prestigious accolade of the Investors in People Standard.

The ‘We Invest in People’ accreditation means the full fibre broadband provider has been recognised by Investors in People as being dedicated to employee satisfaction and development. Investors in People is the international standard for people management, defining what it takes to lead, support and manage people effectively to achieve sustainable results.

The Northern Ireland based firm started out during the Covid-19 pandemic and now employs some 400 people across Northern Ireland & GB. The company has recently been recognised by both Women in Business with an ‘Advancing Diversity in the Workplace’ award, and with a Diversity Chartermark for their work in diversity, equality and inclusion specifically in relation to the company’s ambitious gender target of a 50% female colleague base by 2028.

The highest scoring theme in the accreditation report was surrounding ethos and values, with 98% of respondents agreeing they identify with the company’s values. Last summer, Fibrus launched a new people strategy geared toward creating a best-in-class experience for all colleagues. People at Fibrus were asked to contribute and offer feedback on values, subsequently creating a new colleague-led set. “Everybody in the business was involved in creating the core values” one respondent said, “I have never loved working anywhere like this before… I feel I can be me” said another.

The company’s Chief People Officer Linda McMillan said the accreditation was testament to its commitment to creating a positive and supportive work environment that fosters growth and development for employees.

“Our people are the differentiator in the success of Fibrus so we’re working hard to make sure Fibrus is a fabulous employer by listening, supporting, challenging and involving our colleagues. It’s really reassuring to know that we’re doing things right by being recognised by with this award from Investors in People.”

“The feedback from our assessment highlighted in particular a leadership approach based on trust, transparency, and open discussions around future ambitions, with our colleagues believing we are creating sustainable success and making a difference in our communities. And a whopping 98% identifying with our company values! That really is a team aligned and excited by the future of Fibrus.”

Company co-founder and Chief Executive Dominic Kearns said he was thrilled with the industry gong.

“The findings showed 96% of respondents find Fibrus a great place to work, while 92% feel positive about the future of the company – and that is music to my ears. We are proud to be held in such high esteem and we remain committed to our people.”

“This industry recognition means we are well placed to attract and retain the top talent and that means we can continue to provide the highest quality of service to our customers in Northern Ireland and the North of England.”

Just last month, Fibrus announced it had achieved the impressive milestone of reaching 250,000 homes in rural and underserved areas of Northern Ireland and England, attracting more than 36,000 customers. The company’s next goal is set on reaching one million homes and employing 1,000 people.

Cumbria Community Foundation launches new fund with Fibrus to help address digital poverty in the region

Cumbria, UK. Monday 3rd April 2023 – Full fibre broadband company Fibrus, who is currently rolling out their network in Cumbria, is delighted to announce its partnership with the Cumbria Community Foundation. This new fund, which launches today and is named the “Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria” aims to award funding to local communities in need of support.

The fund’s main goal is to support those experiencing digital poverty in rural areas, with a particular focus on grassroots organisations and community groups. Successful grants will be allocated to support on-the-ground digital technology projects which make key differences to communities, enhancing people’s lives and well-being. A particular focus will be placed on children, young people and older people who could benefit from digital support.

Fibrus Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Kearns said:

“Fibrus is committed to supporting the communities in which we operate. We will invest £60,000 in the Fibrus Community Fund Cumbria in 2023, to give back to some of the organisations doing wonderful work to enhance and support towns and villages across Cumbria.

We’re looking for projects specifically aimed at young people who need greater access to technology or connectivity, as well as initiatives that combat digital exclusion amongst those more vulnerable in our society. We hope many local groups and community organisations get involved and look forward to hearing more about your fantastic work.”

Jenny Benson, Director of Programmes and Partnerships at Cumbria Community Foundation said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Fibrus to deliver this important new grant making fund in Cumbria. 

Digital connectivity has increasingly become a daily necessity for us to live our lives, particularly in rural areas. However, the most vulnerable members of our communities often struggle to afford, access or use digital technologies.

With Fibrus’ generous support, we will be able to offer grants to community organisations to enable them to help younger and older people become more digitally connected and to access a range of online tools, from grocery shopping and training, to new employment opportunities.”

Fibrus launched a similar fund via the Community Foundation Northern Ireland in September 2021 which will have provided a total contribution of £120,000 by the end of 2023. Some examples of the projects supported so far include the provision of devices to help children with special needs communicate in a way more comfortable for them, and iPads for young people to support with education.

To learn more information or to apply to the fund visit

Fibrus Announce New Charity Partner, Air Ambulance NI!

Fibrus are delighted to announce its new charity partnership with Air Ambulance NI.

Air Ambulance were specially selected by Fibrus staff as this years charity partner following the handover of a cheque for £20,000 which was presented to Cancer Fund for Children to round off last year’s partnership.

Air Ambulance NI is a charity in Northern Ireland who work in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS), to provide the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) for the region. The charity’s operational helicopter carries a crew comprising of a pilot, doctor and paramedic all year round. These teams attend some of the most traumatic medical incidents across the province and are dedicated to delivering the very best pre-hospital critical care possible, both at the scene and whilst transferring the patient to hospitals for their specific injuries.

Colleen Milligan Air Ambulance NI Quote :

“It’s wonderful that the team at Fibrus have chosen to support the air ambulance service. It’s a service that is there for every one of us, should we need it and thanks to support and great partnerships like this, it can be sustained for generations to come. We are looking forward to getting to know the team at Fibrus and ensuring they enjoy raising funds and awareness for our charity.”

Fibrus will begin planning their own various activities and events to support the charity, while also taking part in Air Ambulance NI events throughout the year to raise as much as possible for this inspirational local charity.

Dominic Kearns Fibrus CEO says:

“Air Ambulance NI is a truly inspirational charity. Their heroic teams bring much needed critical care to some of the most far reaching places in NI. This partnership is a great fit for Fibrus, as we continue to serve rural communities in Northern Ireland. We look forward to working with Air Ambulance and doing our part in raising much needed funds for them.”

Fibrus are looking forward to the year ahead supporting this amazing charity with a number of planned fundraising events and initiatives – watch this space!

Fibrus reaches a mega quarter-of-a-million homes

We are proud to announce that we have achieved a mega milestone on our growth journey. This month, Fibrus has reached 250,000 homes across Northern Ireland and Cumbria.

In our short lifetime, which started out during the Covid-19 pandemic, we have supported thousands of people in rural communities, offering full fibre broadband to improve people’s lives.

Key moments on our exciting journey so far include:

· We’ve laid more than 17,000 kilometres of fibre to connect homes across NI and Cumbria – more than the distance from Giants Causeway to the Great Barrier Reef

· Our customer base has increased fivefold in just over a year, and our customers enjoy 5.1 million hours of fibrefast broadband each week

·  Our team has grown to over 400 people, who have all played a part in our success so far

· We have plans to connect 1 million homes in the future!

Our chief executive, Dominic Kearns said:

“To reach this milestone is an awesome achievement. The Fibrus brand is becoming trusted in the areas we serve, and this is no accident. Our focus on offering affordable prices, quality, and service has helped us gain momentum in the past twelve months. We know these factors make our customers happy and that’s why people are joining Fibrus in their droves. We are constantly looking for opportunities to densify our network and grow. I’m already looking forward to celebrating our next milestone!”

We are reaching for the stars, and our next goal is to reach one million homes in the future. Today’s milestone is just the beginning… Watch this space!

Fibrus’ Charity Committee Proudly present Cancer Fund for Children with a Cheque for £20,000

Fibrus’ Charity Committee Proudly present Cancer Fund for Children with a Cheque for £20,000.

This year, Fibrus’ chosen local charity partner was Cancer Fund for Children, a charity that empowers, connects and strengthens children, young people and families impacted by cancer. The charity offers informal emotional, social and therapeutic support in the home, community, on the hospital ward and in their short break centre, Daisy Lodge.

Over the course of the year, teams at Fibrus raised a tremendous £20,000, following a series of events and initiatives to support the cause. Activities included a treasure hunt, Great British Bake Off inspired competition, charity golf day, and the inaugural Fibrus ‘F Factor’ – a take on the popular British singing competition.

Fibrus Chief Delivery Officer, Conor Harrison said;

“We were delighted to have Cancer Fund for Children as our charity partner for 2022. The charity is hugely important for those who need its support in Northern Ireland, and we’re thrilled to do our bit to help. Fibrus staff really got behind some of our fun initiatives, and to have raised £20,000 is an incredible achievement”

Phil Alexander from Cancer Fund for Children showed his appreciation for Fibrus’ contribution;

Phil Alexander, CEO at Cancer Fund for Children commented, “Through 2022 the team at Fibrus have gone above and beyond for Cancer Fund for Children. Raising an outstanding £20,000 in support of young people and their families navigating a cancer diagnosis. From Slieve Donardclimbs to gala balls to bake offs and the Fibrus F Factor there has been so much for the team to get involved in this year.Thank you so much to all of the team at Fibrus for their support in helping ensure no child has to face cancer alone.

“The Charity Committee would like to thank all the Fibrus Staff for getting involved by supporting all the fundraising throughout the year.”

Pictured: Jordana Stoney- Wilson (CFC), Rachel Lightburn, Sharon McGregor, Stephen O’Donnell, Lorna Watson, Conor Harrison and Phil Alexander (CFC)

International Women’s Day Q&A

This year’s theme to ‘Embrace Equity’ is at the forefront of our mission. We believe in supporting harmony and flexibility between work, personal and family life, and encourage people to “Be Yourself” at Fibrus.

Here is what International Women’s Day means to some of our inspiring people …

Rachel Lightburn – Lead specialist, People & Culture

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

IWD is a day to celebrate the progress we’ve made, and to celebrate every woman in your life.

  • What is something you’re passionate about?

I’ve worked in People & Culture for nearly 10 years and I’m passionate about setting an inclusive culture for my colleagues.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

I honestly couldn’t name just one! My family, friends, colleagues; I am inspired by them all, for so many different reasons.

Jennifer Taylor – Marketing Campaign Specialist

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

It’s a day to celebrate all the superhero women out there, working, raising, nourishing and inspiring the next generation.

  • What is your passion?

I run and organise my own pageant called Shining Light, which aims to take the stigma out of pageants and help raise awareness and funding for Mental Health.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you? 

It’s all of my finalists in my pageant who have taken part in the last 3 years, who felt they didn’t fit the incorrect stereotypes of a pageant entrant.

Kayan Videau – Head of Sales and Prospect Management

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

This day not only celebrates women all over the world but continues to highlight the disparity between genders.

  • What is your passion?

I am raising my daughter to be strong, independent and confident, to stand up for herself and continue to challenge the status quo in all walks of life.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

My mother inspires me to be a better person, she was always a woman way ahead of her time, celebrating women and our differences.

Lynn Johnson – Head of BDUK Projects

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a chance to lift my head up from the everyday norms to look around and really appreciate and celebrate the achievements of women.

  • What is something you are passionate about?

Education and the impact that education can have. Access to a free, high quality and diverse educational experiences is fundamental in addressing inequalities and challenging societal norms.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

Sophia Jex-Blake. She applied to study medicine at Edinburgh University in 1869 and was denied because she was a woman. She later went on to focus on developing key health services for women, by women. Shows what ‘just one’ women can achieve.

Claire McAllister – People and Culture Specialist

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Encouraging woman to work together, speak up and stand proud.

  • What is something you are passionate about?

Being able to advocate for people to empower them to be the best they can be – externally I am OBSESSED with my dogs 😂

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

Every woman and ally who are unapologetically themselves, who empower woman and lift them up, encouraging them to be proud and stand strong should be an inspiration to us all.

Sarah Thompson – Programme Manager

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is a day to bring forward awareness and movements which can contribute positively to the quality of women’s lives around the world.

  • What is something your passionate about?

Being a team player and kind to others are both things I try to be and reflect in my actions.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

I take inspiration from women around me who have a lot of determination, courage and empathy.  I admire women like Dame Jessica Ennis- the retired Olympian who has achieved so much in her career, raised a family, and been humble and charitable throughout.

Eimear McVeigh – Commercial Business Partner

  • What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

Celebrating the often unsung strength of women.

  • What is something you are passionate about?

I’m searching always for the balance between raising 4 young boys, giving my all in work whilst finding some “me-time” to stay mentally and physically healthy.

  • Finally, name a woman who inspires you?

Probably my mum – she’s the rock of our family and always seeks a solution, no matter how daunting a problem may seem.

Jennifer’s yearly pageant is helping those with mental health issues

Jennifer Taylor would be a worthy winner of the Shining Light pageant — if she wasn’t the person responsible for its inception.

The 38-year-old Londonderry woman has a full-time job, a husband, two children, a book published and two more to write, and has been battling mental health issues for the last decade.

Remarkably, however, she still finds time to organise an inspirational, inclusive annual event which raises not only awareness of mental health problems, but phenomenal amounts of money for it.

“It’s my other full-time job,” said Ms Taylor, who is a marketing campaign specialist at Northern Ireland full fibre broadband provider Fibrus.

This one-woman-band devotes her lunchtimes and evenings to a Derry-based pageant that is now in its third year and is open to people of all ages and sizes, focusing on boosting confidence and self-esteem, empowerment and friendship.

“Our 50 finalists range in age from one year old to their 60s, and they’re now coming from all over the UK and Ireland,” she said.

“There are 16 different categories and people are judged [by, among others, previous winners and sponsors] on things like their confidence and their stage presence.”

A different charity is nominated each year, the first one being Me4Mental, which received £11,500.

Last year, the main benefactor was Foyle Search and Rescue, with £16,500 being raised.

Sadly, not long after Foyle Search and Rescue was nominated, it recovered missing male model Emmette Dillon, who passed away in 2021.

The popular 33-year-old from the Crawford Square area of the city was a good friend of Ms Taylor.

“Emmette was very into the local pageant scene, and that made what we were doing back then even more poignant,” she said.

“Last year I created a special prize — the Emmette Dillon Mental Health Champion Award — in his honour.”

This year’s chosen charities are the PIPS suicide awareness group and Newpin, which helps parents suffering from depression and isolation.

Having been a judge in other pageants such as the Miss Earth Northern Ireland finals when she was in her early 30s, Jennifer “crossed to the other side” as a contestant in the Mrs Ireland 2018 competition in Dublin — which, much to her surprise and delight, she won.

It was the inclusivity of the event (“I just entered it for the craic”) which appealed to her; welcoming people of all shapes, backgrounds and sizes.

“You’re not judged on beauty. I’m not a size eight anymore,” she added.

“It was that experience that inspired me to create Shining Light.”

Jennifer, who has been married to Chris (42) for 13 years, said she began suffering from mental health issues when the couple’s son, Zachary, who is now 11, was born. They now have a daughter, Daisy, who is 18 months old.

Chris, an assistant programme manager, is a hero to his indefatigable wife: “I have a wonderful husband; housework, cooking, number one daddy. His life revolves around our children.”

This year’s Shining Light pageant will be held on April 1 in Derry and preparations for the following year’s event will begin the next day.

“It really is a 365-day-a-year vocation,” said Ms Taylor.

“No sooner is one over, but enquiries begin about the next one. I’m totally committed to this.”

Having taken seven years to finish her first book, The Blue Boathouse, described by her as a “ghost, love story mystery” inspired by the old Prehen Boathouse, its two sequels will have to wait.

There are only so many hours in a day, even for Jennifer.