As the UK Government continues to focus on full-fibre and 5G and interest in infrastructure provision by independent broadband providers continues to grow, the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) has seen a dramatic increase in new members.
The acceleration in applications during the last 12 months has generated 34 new members from the commercial sector, bringing the total to more than 130 organisations. New recruits include: 4site, Airband Community Internet, Borderlink Broadband, CCS, Community Fibre, CRG TEC, Cubis Systems, DaRo Fibre Products, ECI Telecom, Eltek Power (UK), Fibre Bridge, Fibrespeed, G.Network, gabocom Ltd, Genexis, GeoPal, Jurassic Fibre, Keymile, Keypro Oy, Liberatis Ltd t/a the4thutility, Lightning Fibre, Melbye Skandinavia Sweden AB, MLL Telecom, Nova Incepta, PCCW Global Networks (UK), Prysmian Cables and Systems, Senko Advanced Components, Setics, Spirit Public Sector, T&B Network Services, United Technologists Europe Ltd, VIAVI Solutions, Wifinity and WPD Telecoms.
In addition, INCA has attracted a growing roster of public sector organisations, mainly local authorities, keen to understand and engage with the range of suppliers.
The surge in interest comes as INCA finalises the agenda for its Annual Conference which will take place at Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester on October 16 and 17. Key speakers already confirmed to take part include James Heath, Director, Digital Infrastructure, Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Erzsebet Fitori, Director General at FTTH Council Europe, and Wenbing Yao, Director of Strategy and Marketing at Huawei. Leading figures from the independent operators will also speak.
“The impressive number of top-quality organisations that have joined INCA over the past year signals a growing commitment of network builders and operators to bridge the digital divide in the UK,” said Malcolm Corbett, CEO at INCA. “INCA members already play a large part in providing 1.2 million full fibre connections around the country and as the focus shifts more towards increasing the pace of both fibre and wireless deployment, their role will only be amplified.”
One of the latest companies to take up membership of INCA is ELTEK, a global power specialist that develops, manufactures, sells and distributes cutting-edge power solutions and services.
“INCA is an incredibly important organisation as the race to fiberise the UK gathers pace and it is absolutely right that ELTEK be a part of the organisation, with our telecom power solutions playing a key role in broadband networks across the country,” said Craig Baker, Sales Manager at ELTEK. “We appreciate the opportunities INCA will bring to work more closely with operators of all sizes and look forward to participating in our first annual INCA Conference later this year.”
The tenth annual INCA Conference will feature substantial analysis of the current issues being faced by those working within the UK’s independent broadband services sector, with an emphasis on topical areas such as delivery and competition and the need for sustained economic investment.
The conference is recognised as a valuable meeting point for industry professionals, operators, suppliers, consultants and the public sector. The agenda is right on-point with the current industry trends, representing a unique opportunity to get to the heart of debate about the future direction of digital infrastructure development. Suppliers find it an invaluable way to meet decision-makers and influencers from the growing range of providers.
“The INCA Conference for me is always a special conference because you have such a special concentration of operators from the altnet community who are very vocal about what they need from the regulator and also from the likes of Openreach if they are going to make use of the products that it’s trying to bring to market,” said Ronan Kelly, Adtran CTO and former President of FTTH Council Europe. “It’s always great for gaining insight with regard to what the industry wants.”
INCA members will join Government representatives and other network operators, service providers and equipment manufacturers. The INCA GOLDS Awards will also feature on the agenda to honour the companies and organisations making the biggest impact on the nationwide fibre roll-out.