Date created: 04/29/17 18:01:00. Last modified: 09/02/19 08:13:36

UK Chamber Covers

Pictures of chamber covers that belong to various communications companies, taken around the UK. Some ducts contain fibre, some copper. Some are used exclusively for telecoms infrastructure and some for national and industrial infrastructure. Please send corrections to jwbensley [at] gmail (dot) com. Click on pictures for a larger version.

If you haven't seen this presentation by Charlie Boisseau at UKNOF41, it's very good and explains the meaning behind UK grid covers: (local slides mirror).

A great video on UK telecoms infrastructure that focuses on the sub-sea cables landing in Cornwall is available here:


186K. 186K were a reseller ISP based in Leeds which collapsed in December 2016, with core network in Leeds and London. Who owns these assets now?:


51 Degrees. 51 Degrees which was set-up in 2002, was originally a wholly owned subsidiary of London Electricity Group (LE Group). LE Group is an EDF company. 51 Degrees was a metro fibre and Ethernet provider around London, using London Electricities existing ducts and utility sites as PoP locations. 51 Degrees was purchased from EDF Energy by Interoute in 2007:


Atlantic Telecom. Originally founded in Scotland Atlantic Telecom eventually went bankrupt in 2001. Is the old Atlantic network now owed by SSE???:


BT / British Telecom. BT is the UK national incumbent formed out of the privatisation of the previously state owned Post Office Telecommunications network:


Cable and Wireless / C&W. Cable and Wireless were acquired by Vodafone:



CATV / Cable Television. Most belong(-ed) to NTL (National Transcommunications Ltd) or Telewest. NTL purchased Cable and Wireless' cable operations in 1999. NTL and Telewest merged in 2005 to become NTL Incorporated. NTL later bought Virgin Mobile and NTL Incorporated was later rebranded as Virgin Media:



Originally Fibrecity Holdings was owned by i3 Group who also owned H2O Networks. After i3 sunk H2O and FibreCity were eventually folded into CityFibre Holdings. Redcentric Plc founded in 1997 and in 2000 started to build its own fibre metro-net around Cambridge (later it built metro-nets in other UK cities too). In 2016 Redcentric sold all their metro-nets to CityFibre.


Colt (originally City Of London Telecommunications and later rebranded to Colt Technology Services as it expanded from it's original London centric scope to become pan-European). Colt acquired MarketPrizm and KVH.


Ecom International Network is a trading name of Electronic Communities Ltd. Ecom Fibre is the FTTH/P product of Electronic Communities Ltd that operates across the UK county of Buckinghamshire:


EDF Energy is the UK utility subsidiary of EDF (Électricité de France). It is common in the UK for utility companies to deploy communications infrastructure such as copper and fibre along their existing gas or water routes/ducts/tunnels/trenches. The London Electricity Board (LEB) trading as London Electricity PLC was founded in 1948 as a public sector utility company. It was privatised in 1990, in 1996 it was sold to Entergy and in 1998 sold to EDF:


Energis (originally Telecom Electric). Telecome Electric was a demerger from the UKs National Grid formed in 1991, "Its national optical fibre network was partially deployed via the overhead power transmission network of the grid". Telecome Electric later became Energis which was later acquired by Cable and Wireless, before C&W was acquired by Vodafone:


EuNetworks are a fibre and Ethernet/IP carrier covering most of western Europe founded in 2002:


G.Network Communications Ltd or "G.Networks" are a central London FTTH provider:


Gamma operate their own UK voice, data and mobile network:


Gas ?:


The BUUK Infrastructure Group owns GTC who are responsible for the construction and delivery of the fibre networks. BUUK also owns IFNL (Independent Fibre Network Limited) which runs the fibre network after GTC have delivered it:


Originally NTC (the National Telephone Company) General Post Office / Post Office Telecommunications later became BT. The GPO did at one point run a CATV service around inner London:




Gigaclear is a Fibre-to-the-Home/Premises provider which also owns Rutland Telecom. Gigaclear are a UK Alt Net who compete with BT Openreach in rural areas:


Interoute. Interoute was founded in 1995 and in 2014 acquired VTESSE:


Kingston Communications Ltd. Kingston were originally the sole provider of Telecoms infrastructure in the Hull and East Riding area (BT Openreach have since started to provide services in this area). In 1922 Kingston services went live as the only remaining municipally owned telephone corporation that wasn't merged into the nation incumbent BT. In 1994 Torch Telecom was launched as a joint venture between Yorkshire Electricity and Kingston Communications. In 1996 Kingston bought out Yorkshire Electricity's share of Torch Telecom, making it a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Kingston Group. Kingston later rebranded to KCOM in 2007. From 2009, the management of some of its network assets have been outsourced to BT Group plc:


Level 3 Communications. Level 3 was a Tier 1 transit provider. In October 2011 Level 3 purchased Global Crossing which was another Tier 1 transit provider. Level 3 purchased Fibrespan in August 2012. In 2014 Level 3 purchased Time Warner Communications (a.k.a TW Telecom). Level3 was purchased itself by CenturyLink in 2017 and rebranded as CenturyLink:


Norweb plc, originally the North Western Electricity Board launched a telecommunications division in 1994 called Norweb Communications Ltd which used their existing utilities infrastructure to provide copper and fibre connectivity (amongst other services):


International CableTel was established in 1993. In 1996 CableTel purchased National Transcommunications Limited (NTL). NTL / ntl: were a cable TV provider. NTL later merged with Telewest (formerly Telewest Broadband and Telewest Communications, a triple play cable provider) and became NTL:Telewest. NTL:Telewest was later merged with Virgin Media (after buying ISP in 2004). Virgin Media was later bought by Liberty Global:


NYNEX UK division which provided cable TV. UK assets of NYNEX were merged with the Cable & Wireless subsidiary Mercury Communications, and renamed as Cable & Wireless Communications. Cable & Wireless's cable assets were sold to NTL in 1999-2000:


Orange. EGT is owned by France Telecom which in turn operates as a subsidiary of Orange (?is this the same EGT?):


Oxford University Telecoms Network. Within the city of Oxford the university runs it's own telecoms network:


Racal Electronics plc / RACAL. RACAL sold its telecoms business to Global Crossing. British Rail Telecommunications was bought by Racal Electronics and became Racal-BRT. RACAL-BRT merged with Racal Network Services (RNS) to become Racal Telecom:


Redstone Telecom. Redstone previously purchased Symphony Telecom:


Various colleges banded together to form Southampton Institute of Higher Education. Later the institutes became a university called Southampton Solent University which later changed name to Solent University. Due to the distributed nature of the university buildings around the city their own communications infrastructure was laid. It was also common for companies like the BBC to share ducts or infrastructure with such institutes:


Sky (originally British Sky Broadcasting Limited a.k.a BSkyB) was formed by a merger of Sky Television and British Satellite Broadcasting in 1990. In 2005 Sky bought LLU provider Easynet and back in 2001 Easynet had bought fibre provider Ipsaris (later in 2010 Sky sold what was left of EasyNet and in 2010 that version of EasyNet was acquired by Interoute). In 2013 Sky bought the o2 and BE LLU footprint from Telefonica UK:


TANet was built using leased rail-side fibre from Racal Telecom to create a national SDH network. TANet was owned by Fibernet. Fibrenet was later acquired by Global Crossing. Companies like Merlin Communications and EasyNet leased capacity from TANet with EasyNet later being acquired by BSkyB:


Telia was the original state provider in Sweden which was later devided and privatised. Sonera was the national Finish provider. The Swedish and Finish companies merged in 2002 to form TeliaSonera:


TfL (Transport for London) are the company responsible for transport within London (buses, tubes, roads etc.). Like many utility providers, TfL have run a lot of fibre around London whilst performing construction and maintenance work and now have their own communications infrastructure around the capital:


Thus. Originally founded in 1994 as Scottish Power Telecommunications Holdings Ltd (trading as Scottish Telecom), an offshoot of the energy company Scottish Power. In 1998 the company acquired Demon Internet. In 2002 it was demerged from Scottish Power under the name Thus. On 30 June 2008, Cable & Wireless announced that it had acquired a 29.9% stake in Thus. On 1 October 2008, Cable & Wireless completed the takeover of Thus.


Verizon (a.k.a Verizon Communications) was born out of a division of AT&T Corporation in the US into 7 US regional operators. In 1996 UUNET was purchased MFS Communications (Metropolitan Fiber Systems Inc) and four months later still in 1996 MFS was purchased by WorldCom. In 2006 Verizon Communications purchased WorldCom (which it merged into it's Verizon Business brand). In 2015 Verizon purchased AOL and in 2017 Verizon purchased Yahoo!:


Vodafone, originally formed as Racal-Vodafone (Holdings) Ltd eventually spun out of Racal Telecoms to become Vodafone. Vodafone has since purchased Cable and Wireless and Kabel Deutschland:


Zayo. In 1993 National Fiber Network was formed in the US which provided fibre in the US and Europe. In 1997 National Fibre Network changes it's name to Metromedia Fiber Network. In 1999 Metromedia acquired Abovenet Communications. In 2002 the company filed bankruptcy and in 2003 the company emerged from bankruptcy as Abovenet. In 2012 Zayo Group acquired Abovenet. In 2014 Zayo Group acquired Geo Networks.