Celebrating Women in Engineering

This Women in Engineering Day we’re introducing Lori, our Senior Project Manager in Cumbria!

Lori joined us in 2017, while studying Project Management part time at the University of Cumbria. She was then promoted to Senior PM in 2020, in recognition of her performance. As part of this promotion, Lori became responsible for fibre installations to existing properties across Cumbria.

As a Senior PM, Lori’s responsibilities include planning and defining project scope, monitoring & reporting on KPI’s, and ensuring the successful completion of projects within the constraints of time, cost, and quality. The people management element of the job involves motivating and managing the team, and ensuring Health & Safety is properly adhered to.

“I’m very grateful to Grain for supporting and mentoring me through my degree, and for the opportunity to expand my knowledge of Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), construction and engineering. Although a relatively young company, they have big aspirations and offer plenty in terms of improvement and learning. Since my degree, I’ve also gained job specific qualifications including my CSCS card and NRSWA training.

With a passion for the industry, I’ve enjoyed the variety and challenge of the job since I started, as no two days are the same. Trust is a big factor in delivering projects and I’ve always found the management team culture to be open and susceptible to new ideas, which is something I find really important.

I would encourage those thinking of joining Grain to do so – particularly women. We have historically been underrepresented in the utilities sector but have so much to offer!”

Interested in joining the Grain team? We're recruiting fibre engineers across the UK, apply today!

Hyperfast broadband reaches Auchterarder

Homebuyers at Stewart Milne’s Hunters Meadow development in Auchterarder will become some of the best-connected in Scotland as the homebuilder has chosen to partner with internet provider Grain Connect to improve broadband speeds.

Stewart Milne Homes partnered with Grain Connect to bring residents a state-of-the-art full-fibre broadband network – one of the fastest and most advanced in the UK. Residents will move into their homes knowing that they are already connected to some of the fastest available speeds.

With a one week, no obligation, free trial offered by Grain, homeowners can start making use of the service the minute they walk through the door, connecting to speeds up to 1000Mb/s. Previously, the fastest speed available was 30Mb/s, meaning locals were often constrained in what they could do online.

With the recent significance of home working and interest in ‘out of the city living’ expected to increase, hundreds of homeowners will benefit from ‘hyperfast’ gigabit broadband speeds.

Residents’ routers are connected directly to the fibre network, providing equal upload and download speeds with little to no service interruptions – ideal for households who are home working, schooling, streaming TV and video gaming all at the same time.

The idyllic historical town of Auchterarder in Perthshire has previously been voted in the top 10 desirable places to live in Scotland but due to its semi-rural location the fastest broadband speeds have been unachievable.

Jonathan Fair, Managing Director of Stewart Milne Homes Scotland said of the partnership: “In a digitally led age, with home working and schooling being the default position for so many of us, together with large parts of our regular social interactions or entertainment also being derived online, we recognise that securing the fastest and most reliable internet connection to their home is something that is extremely important to our well-informed customers.

“That’s why we have partnered with Grain to deliver this new direct full fibre broadband infrastructure across our development here in Hunters Meadow, Auchterarder.”

Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect added: “Bringing our service to Hunters Meadow means that many more people can get connected up to the fastest fibre speeds, in a time when it’s more important than ever to have fast and reliable internet connections.

“Our relationship with Stewart Milne means we can install the homes with fibre before residents move in, which makes it even easier and hassle free. We look forward to continuing our growth in Scotland, reaching new communities, and working closely with forward thinking developers like Stewart Milne Homes to help us achieve this.”

Showhome at Auchterarder

Register your interest for a Stewart Milne home at Hunter's Meadow | Homes for Sale | Stewart Milne Homes

Grain Connect is proud to be part of the UK’s vision for full fibre.

Ofcom announced this week that new regulations will come into force to help deliver a full fibre future to more homes across the UK. With an ageing and over used copper network still in use in many part of the country by some broadband providers, consumers are not getting the service they need or deserve. Some of the key changes being brought in by Ofcom will:

  • drive competitive commercial investment
  • support the closure of the country’s 100-year-old copper network
  • protect consumers from high prices

This in turn should lead to around 70% of the UK properties having a choice of networks.

Richard Robinson, Managing Director at Grain said: “One thing the pandemic has reinforced is the need for reliable internet in homes up and down the country. Our customers are telling us that they use fibre broadband day in day out, for working, schooling, entertainment and gaming, as well as shopping, banking and staying in touch.

“Grain’s full fibre service meets these needs and we are pleased that Ofcom is supporting the drive for increased investment in full fibre to the home across all of our operating areas.

“The regulations encourage companies like Grain to provide a great service and challenge the larger providers, which in turn creates choice and value for customers.

“We have big plans and will continue our mission to bring speedy service and great value pricing to hundreds of thousands of homes.”

Read more about Ofcom and the Wholesale Fixed Telecoms Market Review here.

Home Group and Grain connect up

Residents in future Home Group properties will benefit from access to the UK’s fastest fibre broadband thanks to an agreement with hyperfast broadband provider Grain Connect.

Home Group customers and homeowners will be able to take advantage of the relationship between Grain and the housing association by accessing fibre broadband connections direct to their new properties.

Home Group is one of the UK’s largest providers of social housing and are committed to providing access to high quality housing. As part of a national agreement Grain will install fibre broadband and routers into each of the properties as they are being built, allowing residents to access the service the minute they move in.

Some of the first areas to be connected include Home Group projects in Glasgow and Carlisle. Customers will be able to access a free trial of the fibre service before having access to an exclusive package. In addition, Home Group and Grain will also be offering free connections to those who struggle to access broadband, which is extremely important, especially in these times when digital inclusion presents such a prominent part of our lives.

Rich Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect, said of the Home Group partnership:

“We’re very excited to take our relationship with Home Group forward in a way which is going to benefit thousands of customers. Fast, reliable and cost-effective broadband is in demand more than ever before due to home working, schooling and generally spending more time indoors. We are pleased that the customers of Home Group will be able to access the fastest speeds at great prices.”

Mike Westgarth, Head of Procurement and Programme at Home Group said:

“We’re delighted to be working with Grain to bring hyperfast fibre-to-property broadband to our new build properties, with customers able to get online on the day that they move in.

"Access to the internet is something that many of us take for granted but for those who can’t get online, paying bills, searching for jobs and keeping in touch with family and friends is much more difficult. Through this relationship with Grain we’re hoping to help some of our customers to bridge this digital divide.”

Developers can find out more about Grain here.

Fibre connection could boost the value of your home

With home working more common than ever in 2020, it is not surprising that a recent survey has found that homes which suffer from poor broadband can sell for almost £39,000 less than their true market value. And less surprisingly, 39% of respondents said they would not even consider purchasing a home with slow speeds.

Respondents to a survey carried out by Eutelsat commented that they would only be willing to purchase a home with poor broadband if it came with a 16% discount, which equates to £38,902 against the UK average house price.

With peoples working, living and social habits undergoing such a huge transformation in 2020, our Grain customers tell us that reliable, fast, fibre broadband is more important than ever to them and their families. Many households are running multiple devices at once throughout the day and into the evening, from online meetings to streaming TV shows and gaming virtually with friends.

While some people may expect that areas outside of the bigger cities suffer from poor broadband connectivity, here at Grain, we are working hard to connect thousands of new and existing homes with speeds of up to 1000Mbs upload and download. And unlike most fibre connections in the UK, the Grain network is true fibre, with every home having its own dedicated fibre connection all the way to the router inside the home.

Don’t let your broadband package hold back your life, or the potential of your property. Find out more about Grain fibre broadband here.

An update on appointments during Covid-19 tier system implementation and lockdowns

We are continuing to follow the changing guidance regarding the Covid-19 pandemic and the regular reviews of the tier system being used to manage restrictions across the UK.

Our team here at Grain are continuing to follow the government guidance around safe working practices to ensure that we can protect our valued customers and our own staff too. As a utility company, we are able to visit your home for emergencies and installations, if you are comfortable with this. However, it is recognised by our industry body Ofcom that utility companies should prioritise appointments and manage capacity to ensure that we can deal with the most urgent issues first and continue to keep our network operational.

Measures the Grain team are following include:

  • We will continue to prioritise urgent appointments, such as a complete loss of service, , but please be mindful that these may take slightly longer than normal as we catch up with the backlog of appointments following recent lockdowns, tier changes and staff who have been impacted.
  • We will continue to schedule appointments for non-urgent issues, but please be mindful that these may take slightly longer than normal as we catch up with the backlog of appointments following recent lockdowns, tier changes and staff who have been impacted.
  • We will ask customers if they feel comfortable having us in their home – we can attend at a later date if a customer does not wish to have us in their home.
  • We will keep in touch with you if your appointment does need to be changed due to a member of our team isolating for example.
  • We politely ask that you give us as much notice as you can if you need to cancel your appointment due to isolating.

If an Engineer or Sales representative does visit your home they will:

  • Ensure they sanitise their hands regularly
  • Maintain an appropriate social distance
  • Wear an FFP3 rated mask, safety glasses and any other appropriate PPE

We have outlined below the current status in each of our operational areas and how we will manage appointments. This will be reviewed regularly.


National lockdown from 26 December 2020. Grain will prioritise emergencies and will schedule in other appointments depending on capacity.

Last reviewed – 04/02/21


Full national lockdown in place from 5 January 2021. Grain will prioritise emergencies and will schedule in other appointments depending on capacity.

Last reviewed – 04/02/21

If you have any questions or concerns about a scheduled appointment, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our customer service team by calling 0330 223 2266 or email We ask that you do bear with us during this difficult time as we work hard to keep everybody connected, and of course safe too.

New homeowners at Silkash have one less worry on moving day thanks to Grain

We are proud to be working with Northstone on their first housing development in Bolton, connecting new home owners with Grain hyperfast broadband.

All 150 homes at Northstone’s Silkash development will be fitted with Grain Connect’s state-of-the-art full-fibre broadband network – one of the fastest and most advanced in the UK.

Our Managing Director Richard Robinson recently visited Silkash and spent some time explain the benefits of the service for new home owners. You can watch more here:

Residents’ routers will be connected directly to the Grain fibre network, providing equal upload and download speeds and little to no service interruptions – ideal for households who are working, watching movies and video gaming all at the same time.

And new home owners also have one less stress as they can activate a free trial as soon as they move in, giving them the ability to get online from the moment they step through the front door.

You can find out more about Northstone and Silkash here:

Bye Bye Bundles?

New research into household broadband and entertainment habits has revealed that a potential 2 million households that have their broadband and television services bundled would consider a broadband only service. A perceived “lack of value” with current entertainment options was a common explanation for this preference.

Research from the same survey also places some of the onus on the ever increasing popularity of video streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon prime, Now TV and Disney + further verified by the huge increase in user bases for these products.

As many of the developers we work with know, Grain are doing a lot to facilitate in the move to steaming services. As more of households’ requirements for bandwidth move towards streaming video, it is important to have a robust, reliable and fast broadband service which offers the necessary bandwidth for both streaming and day to day internet usage.

Grain have gathered their own customer insight to better understand the value of some IP based streaming products such as the Amazon firestick and Google Chromecast. It was found that not only is it possible to get a wider range of services through these products, but it was also possible to obtain all of these services for cheaper overall when compared to current set top box bundles on the market.

With a Grain connection, the future proofed requirements needed for fast and reliable streaming is already available to new developments, and with the streaming technology also readily available it will only be a matter of time before more consumers start to see the benefit of ditching their bundled entertainment. Grain want to continue facilitating customer preference and continues to adapt and evolve our offering to match demand!

We're finalists at the ISPA Awards

We are proud to be shortlisted and nominated in the Best Infrastructure category at the ISPA Awards 2020.

During the past few months, the world and the UK saw unprecedented changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

With massive efforts by everyone across every single industry to adjust to a new normal with much more remote working, broadband has taken the spotlight highlighting once again the importance of a good, reliable and fast connection.

With more people than ever working from home, the demand for quality broadband for the residential market, delivered via the most advanced fibre designs, technologies and innovations, is only poised to increase.

Grain is proud to be nominated in the Best Infrastructure category, speaking volumes of our work and dedication to deliver full fibre to every new build development, improving overall national connectivity.

We wish best of luck to all shortlisted companies across every category.

About us:

Grain is a Gigabit full fibre broadband provider. We deliver Hyperfast speed, reliable and consistent connection to new residential developments across the UK.

We use the latest in broadband technology to design, build, install and operate a brand new, true fibre network in each new build community.

We guarantee live on day 1 connection to every resident.

For more information, get in touch on or visit our website,

The Grain Step Challenge 2020 is officially complete

The results are in!

Just three weeks since the Grain team kicked off our Step Challenge to walk the length of the UK, stopping over at some of our sites along the way including Steward Milne’s Countesswells in Aberdeen, Taylor Wimpey’s Foxley Meadows in Market Weighton, Keepmoat’s Hedgerows in Chesterfield and finishing up at Dandara’s Windroos Nursery in Littlehampton.

Our team completed the Step Challenge seeing us take a total of 5,280,000 steps on walks in our back gardens, local parks and site visits.

Some notable and very deserving mentions are Kudzai Mupotsa who was the top contributor overall with 600,442 steps and William Irvine who has left the rest of the team in his rear view with 50,042 steps completed in a single day.

The Step Challenge encouraged the team to work together to achieve this goal ahead of the predicated schedule and managed to complete it within three weeks.

Well done to the entire team! Following the massive success of this remote team building exercise, we’re setting our sights on the next fun challenge which we will be opening up to friends of Grain to participate in as well. Stay tuned.

Grain take steps towards happier home working

As we start to come out the other side of the stricter lockdown measures, Grain is continuing to promote remote and flexible working wherever possible. This new way of working will take some getting used to, and whilst the Grain team has taken to this new challenge as adeptly as ever, it is important not to forget the strain that large scale changes and new environments can have on an individual’s mental health.

Because of this, we want to try and encourage a healthy lifestyle wherever possible to ensure that at least one element of a healthy home life is covered. As gyms are shut and team sports aren’t possible we wanted to find a way of getting the team outside and getting some form of exercise, as it’s proven to help positivity and mental health.

The Grain team has been set the challenge of walking the length of the United Kingdom, stopping off at a selection of our sites along the way. Starting at our furthest North site near Aberdeen and ending at our furthest South site close to Brighton. The Challenge is a whopping 5,280,000 steps! With the average individual making between 5000 and 10,000 steps a day it is going to take a monumental effort to achieve our goal.

Things got underway at the start of June and within a week we have already made it past the 25% mark. With scoreboards for most steps in one day and total steps contributed, the competition has really heated up! We aim to have completed the challenge by the end of June, and hopefully along the way encouraged our colleagues to get outside of their four walls.

We will be keeping you up to date with our progress weekly, so make sure you check-in. With Richard Robinson our managing director being the current step leader with a one day high of 49,107 steps, we would love for one of you to let us know the most steps you have managed in a day… if only to stop him bragging!

Northstone residents to become some of best-connected in country with hyperfast home broadband

Residents at Northstone’s first housing development in Bolton will become some of the best-connected in the country as the homebuilder partners with internet provider Grain Connect.

All 150 homes at Northstone’s Silkash scheme in Westhoughton will be fitted with Grain Connect’s state-of-the-art full-fibre broadband network – one of the fastest and most advanced in the UK.

Homeowners will benefit from ‘hyperfast’ gigabit broadband speeds with exclusive access to SKY entertainment services through the Grain network with no need for satellite dishes.

Residents’ routers will be connected directly to the fibre network providing equal upload and download speeds and little to no service interruptions – ideal for households who are working, home schooling, watching movies and video gaming all at the same time.

Northstone’s Silkash scheme will provide a mix of two, three and four-bed family homes to help meet local housing needs. Homes will be available to purchase later on this year.

Northstone’s Construction Director Kevin Morris added: “We’ve taken a lot of time to design our homes to fit the needs of families for generations to come and our partnership with Grain Connect will connect homeowners to a hyperfast broadband service which rivals speeds in big cities and offices – something which will really benefit people who need to work from home.”

Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect Limited said: “We’re delighted to have been given the go ahead by Northstone to provide hyper-fast broadband to their Silkash scheme. Grain Connect Limited has always focused heavily on innovation in its delivery, products and services so partnering with Northstone who share these values, speaks volumes about this growing partnership.”

Register your interest for a Northstone home at

Fibre for developers:

Coronavirus, changing times, and the reliance on your broadband network

In light of the outbreak of COVID-19, demand has increased drastically for a fast and reliable broadband connection, as children are home from school and more people are forced to work remotely. It has been reported in the Telegraph that the UK’s ageing broadband infrastructure “won’t cope with millions working from home in coronavirus outbreak.” In fact, the demand for online streaming services after the outbreak of the virus has seen Netflix’s share price increase by over $16 (4.48 per cent) in under a month.

In light of this global challenge, coupled with changing demand and lifestyles, providers now have to support homeowners by providing a connection that will, at certain times in the day, be required to seamlessly stream multiple shows on multiple devices as well as hold conference calls and send emails at the same time. As the number of self-isolations as a result of coronavirus increase, so too does the dependence on broadband connectivity for work, education, gaming and television.

This International Women’s Day, Business Lead at Grain, Gergana Nash, gave her thoughts on the increase in household usage which is ultimately a response to changes in the way consumers are accessing television and how they are using their broadband for more, but also highlights the need for a fast, reliable service.

Since its inception, the internet has progressively changed the way in which consumers access television, resulting in online streaming services being established worldwide. Netflix, for example, was launched in 2012 in the UK and has since expanded exponentially to have a subscriber base of 11.8 million (correct in Q3 2019), significantly more than the number of consumers currently subscribed to Sky’s satellite television service.

This trend has been seen across the market, as the norms of television consumerism change in an ever-connected world. Indeed, Amazon Prime Video has also watched its consumer base increase rapidly to 6.4 million in Q3 of 2019, representing an average subscriber growth of a million users per year for the last five years. Couple this growth in online streaming subscribers with a rising number of viewers on YouTube, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and more, it becomes obvious that a new age of online, instant viewing has emerged.

Never before has there been a greater need by consumers to have a reliable, fast broadband connection, with sufficient bandwidth to download and upload at great speed. Grain’s full-fibre broadband network allows this, with connection speeds of up to 1 gigabit and an uncontended network, providing tomorrow’s demand today. Grain has established itself as the broadband provider of choice for Stewart Milne, Taylor Wimpey, This Land™, Birmingham City Council’s Perry Barr site and others.

Grain’s technical team reports that the vast majority of streaming traffic on the network is from Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime Video, with each customer streaming an average of 3.8 hours of online television per day. This represents an opportunity for housebuilders and developers to future-proof their new homes, providing homeowners with a fast, reliable, full-fibre network.

The Grain network has also seen significant growth in household data usage in the past 12 months, with increased data use of 12 per cent per month, a figure that is rising year on year.

Grain is currently working with a host of developers to provide full-fibre, hyperfast broadband to rural and urban communities across the UK.

Fibre for developers:

Grain Drills To Success

In November last year, the Grain Connect team agreed to provide a full-fibre hyperfast broadband network for Stewart Milne’s Hunters Meadow development in Auchterarder, Perthshire. At that time, the fastest available network to homeowners in the development had a maximum download speed of around 30Mbps, significantly lower than the 1000Mbps offered by Grain Connect. The Grain Connect team swiftly got to work on finding a solution to supply the full-fibre gigabit-enabled network, which was made more complicated as phase one of the site had already been completed and phase two was well underway.

Midway through December, Grain had agreed with Stewart Milne a point of connection to serve the site and a location for the Grain fibre cabinet. There was, however, still the small issue of how to install the necessary ductwork over the already completed carriageways and footpaths from phase two to phase three of the development.

For this purpose, Grain engaged the services of a directional drilling team. The directional drill was an excellent solution for the site, as it allowed the required duct to be installed without inconveniencing the new residents with an extended period of traffic management and it removed the need to scar and resurface the newly finished footpaths and carriageway.

The drilling was scheduled for 18 December and, within a few hours, the drilling team had completed their works. This gave Grain the necessary link in place to serve all the future phases on the development. The Grain project team then agreed a programme of works with the site team and, in doing so, has brought the residents of Hunters Meadow a huge step closer to enjoying Grain Connect’s competitively priced hyperfast broadband.

Fibre for developers:

Grain Connect Bring Full Fibre to This Land’s New Build UK Homes

Grain Connect, the hyperfast broadband provider, is set to partner with This Land™, an innovative new housing developer, on future schemes across Cambridgeshire. Offering one gigabit full-fibre broadband, the first project to benefit will be a sustainable development of 53 homes in the popular village of Over near Cambridge, one of the fastest growing city economies in the UK.

The partnership deal will see Grain deliver a hyperfast congestion-free new build fibre connection to This Land’s™ design-led developments. Grain also expects to offer the same level of connection to neighbouring homes, hospitals and schools outside of the development, working closely with the local community to improve connectivity. Focused on creating sustainable neighbourhoods, This Land™ plans to develop around 1600 new homes within the next five years. The developments are designed to complement the local environment and bring tangible benefits to existing communities.

This Land’s™ funding model is unique from other housing developers. With its sole shareholder being Cambridgeshire County Council, the revenue that is returned to the Council supports the delivery of vital front-line services.

Rich Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect, said of the collaboration:

“We’re very excited to be announcing our partnership with This Land™ and our commitment to supply full fibre, hyperfast broadband to their developments in Cambridgeshire. They match our sustainable ethos, and we can’t wait to start working with them.”

Dave Gelling, Managing Director at This Land™ commented:

“We are delighted to have partnered with Grain to ensure our sites have state-of-the-art, hyperfast fibre optic broadband. This Land’s™ focus is on providing design-led homes and vibrant neighbourhoods for the benefit of both residents and the local community. Because we are committed to delivering developments of the highest quality, we think that our customers deserve the highest quality broadband too.”

The partnership between Grain Connect and This Land™ reflects a common sustainability drive, as both companies promote sustainable deliverability techniques, and make conscious efforts to reduce plastic consumption and waste.

Fibre for developers:

Grain Connect moves to the next level for UK full-fibre broadband installation programme

Grain Connect, one of the leading providers of ultrafast broadband and new build fibre solutions for homes across the UK, has announced a £10m (GBP) investment by the Albion Real Assets Fund, a newly raised fund managed by Albion Capital. This will drive Grain’s network deployment and market position, enabling customers to benefit directly from Gigabit symmetrical connections, where download speeds are around 20x the UK average. Cameron Barney acted as financial adviser to Grain in the transaction.

Deployment of ultrafast broadband networks in communities nationwide has grown year-on-year for over decade. Grain Connect is ensuring that homes and businesses benefit from excellent full fibre broadband connectivity.

This latest phase of investment by the Albion Real Asset Fund will enable Grain Connect to expand its network and service offering, grow its team and capitalise on the latest phase of new housing developments across the UK. Grain Connect will continue to work with Pinnacle Group, its founding shareholder and long-term funding partner, to further unlock opportunities to support communities across Pinnacle’s UK portfolio. At the same time, Grain has concluded an agreement with Solway Communications, its other founding shareholder, for the acquisition of certain network assets from Solway, the transfer of staff and expertise to Grain, whilst Solway continues to provide fixed wireless service to its customers.

Rich Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect said of the announcement: “We are delighted to announce the next phase of our growth and the integration of the full end-to-end customer experience with Grain Connect’s operations. We are committed to providing the highest quality of service in delivering full-fibre broadband across the UK. Albion Capital understands the opportunities for the UK communications sector and has a proven track record investing in organisations that deliver for customers and shareholders. This investment enables the Grain Connect team to consolidate its position as one of the leading installers of full-fibre broadband in the UK, whilst retaining flexibility for housebuilder clients and ensuring the highest level of service for homeowners.”

Adam Chirkowski, Investment Director at Albion Capital added: “The opportunity to invest in the growth of one of the UK’s most exciting communications providers is highly exciting. Capitalising on the increasing demand for future-fit broadband services, Grain Connect is working to provide new housing developments nationwide with a resilient, high quality broadband service that is meeting the needs of homeowners. Albion has been extremely active in the FTTP market, particularly investing in the growth of alt-nets to enable them to reach critical scale. Grain Connect’s dedication to every home, ensuring residents have the foundations and the choice to receive the best quality network for them is critical to the growth of the business and makes the investment an exciting next step in Albion’s fibre portfolio.”

Perry Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Pinnacle Group, said of the investment: “At Pinnacle we are committed to working with communities across the UK to deliver the highest quality of service through understanding the needs of residents and adapting to changes in our modern world. This continued investment in Grain Connect underlines our commitment to supporting the digital transformation of communities, enabling them to benefit from the rapid improvements to broadband technology. Through Grain Connect, we see strong synergies across the Pinnacle Group businesses, unlocking opportunities to provide the essential services that enable communities to make a space, their home.”

Fibre for developers:

Grain Connect to provide hyperfast broadband to Perry Barr Residential Scheme

Birmingham City Council has partnered with hyperfast broadband provider Grain Connect to deliver premium infrastructure and service to the Perry Barr Residential Scheme in Birmingham when residents begin occupying the properties in early 2023. The scheme is a £496m council-led project that will deliver 1,400 new homes and act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the wider Perry Barr area.

Grain Connect will design, install and operate its independent, full-fibre data network, as well as a phone network, to provide service speeds of up to one gigabit to all of the new homes on the Perry Barr Residential Scheme. The project will see major investment into the area and the direct delivery of more than 1,000 new homes, representing one of Grain’s highest profile contracts to date.

Grain Connect has been deploying hyperfast broadband networks in communities nationwide for over 10 years, ensuring that homes and businesses benefit from excellent broadband connectivity. Grain brings a unique offering to the market, with customers benefiting directly from a symmetrical connection where download and upload speeds are equal.

In response to the award of the contract, Richard Robinson, Managing Director of Grain Connect, said: “We’re delighted to have been selected to partner with Birmingham City Council as the first provider of hyperfast broadband to the Perry Barr Residential Scheme. Grain Connect is focused on delivering the highest quality of service for communities across the UK, offering broadband connectivity via fibre-optic cables directly to the router from the moment owners turn the key to their new home. We look forward to being a part of the project from the start and as the development continues to take shape.”

Ian Ward, Leader of Birmingham City Council, added:
“As welcome as the new homes delivered by the Perry Barr Residential Scheme will be, we must also focus on the infrastructure and communities that we are creating. It is vital that our communities have access to the highest quality broadband service. Grain Connect has proven its ability to deliver hyperfast broadband networks across the UK, and we’re delighted to appoint them to support this project.”

Fibre for developers:

The London Construction Awards shortlists Grain in multiple Technology categories

Approaching the year end, 2019 has been an exciting and dynamic one for Grain.

Grain has experienced a tremendous growth in the industry as well as have been recognised by multiple high-profile judging panels for its work to innovate and deliver an outstanding product and service within telecoms in the housing sector.

We are proud to announce we have been shortlisted by the London Construction Awards in two categories - Best Technology Partner and Best Use of Emerging Technology.

Being shortlisted in these categories recognise our team and dedication to deliver the best, most innovative product to our developer clients and new home buyers, our common customers.

Grain is dedicated to continuously disrupt the market, following customer demand, change and adapt, focusing on the innovation which shapes our unique offering of new build fibre.

We appreciate this recognition from the London Construction Awards and look forward to the event on 27th November at the Novotel West London. Best of luck to all shortlisted contenders.

If you’d like to connect, drop us a message on

Fibre for developers:

RESI 2019 – A brave new mixed up world

Last week Grain were delighted to sponsor RESI 2019. The annual conference once again highlighted hot topics within the house building world underlying challenges and opportunities in the sector.

This year’s conference centred around the theme “A brave new mixed up world” with particular emphasis placed on mixed-use developments, with build to rent dominating the conversations.

Over 700 people attended the conference which took place as usual at the fantastic Celtic Manor in Newport and was hosted by BBC news’ Mark Easton.

The opening speech was powerfully delivered by the TV presenter Julia Bradbury, provoking discussion on social responsibility in the housing sector, as well as the missing safe net for vulnerable people who find themselves homeless.

In a moving address, she spoke about her week-long experience sleeping rough and urged those in attendance to do what they can to help plug the gaps, especially during the early days of an individual’s life without a home.

Day two saw Esther McVey’s first public speech since her appointment as Minister of State for Housing and Planning. Seemingly misjudging the room, the Minister implied that “rent” might be a dirty word. Mrs McVey expressed her support for the help to buy scheme and tacitly avoided addressing the housing white paper, which is eagerly expected by the housing sector.

Day two also saw Grain host their first at RESI round table. The invite only event saw representatives from Greystar, Moda, Grainger, Crest Nicholson, Homes England, Landsec, AECOM and Places for People take part in engaging discussions. Addressing the rise of the smart home as well as the emergence of 5G technology, Rich Robinson, MD of Grain Connect led the discussion which unanimously concluded that fast and reliable broadband is now a norm which developers and BTR operators are often challenged to meet, given the incumbent infrastructure’s limitations.

Grain and its valued guests including’s Henry Pethybridge, also delved into policy changes necessary to facilitate delivery and improve customer satisfaction in the future.

After several highly insightful panels throughout the day, on subjects ranging from home certification to modular housing, the Gala dinner was a fantastic opportunity to network late into the night and have fun trying to figure out how Britain’s Got Talent DNA act managed to read the audience’s minds. We are still none the wiser!

The final day of the event delivered more panel discussions, and finally an address from Theresa May’s Head of Communications during her premiership, Sir Robbie Gibb. Some insight was gained into the potential course Brexit might take, with the only certainty being that nobody could be certain!

We would like to thank all those who took the time to talk with the Grain team at the event, we thoroughly enjoyed our time with our only regret that we didn’t have a chance to speak with more of you! In the meantime, if you would like to connect please get in touch:

‘Photography by Paul Burroughs @ RESI Convention 2019’
Award season is back and we are up for it

It has been an amazing year so far for Grain and the good news just keeps coming. We are very proud to have been recognised and shortlisted from the Building Innovation Awards judges in award categories that reflect our commitment to technical advancement and innovation in the industry.

Grain are up for the Best Use of Emerging Technology award and Best Technology Partner award for their bespoke new build fibre solutions.

In each category, Grain exhibited drive for innovation to disrupt telecoms and the housing industry by delivering on customer demand beyond current expectation and with a firm focus on the future.

Grain is among very strong contenders in each award category, all of who are pioneers in their respective fields ranging from fire safety and drone technologies through to water treatments and smart integration of information.

Well done to all finalists.

Grain team are attending the award ceremony on 23rd October at the renown Midland Hotel in Manchester. If you’d like to get in touch, contact our team on

Fibre for developers:

Internet Service Providers - A Comparison

The Fourth Utility?

The dictionary might be a good place to start here. It defines utility as: “a state of being useful, profitable or beneficial” it also defines utilities in a wider sense as “organisations providing the community with gas, water or electricity”.

it is probably fair to say that the dictionary might be a little behind the times, but they aren’t the only ones who are overlooking the emergence of what should now be considered the fourth utility: Broadband.

A survey of 2000 homeowners in the UK in 2016 placed organizing a broadband (20%) connection above gas (8%) and water (13%) in their priorities when moving home.

Homebuyers are more tech-savvy than ever before and now demand a good quality broadband connection as soon as they move into their new home. Both housebuilders and the current broadband providers need to adapt to ensure they are meeting the expectations of the homebuyer. Let’s take a look at the different options available to developers to try and make sense of whats on offer.

What are the options?

Currently the market is split into two distinct groups:

  1. The Traditional providers
  2. The AltNet providers

The traditional providers are the larger organizations and include Openreach and Virgin Media. Within the AltNet‘s there are several providers, but main players include Grain, GTC and Hyperoptic.

Separating the two

There are several differences between the traditional providers and the AltNet providers, but the main and most important factor is the network infrastructure itself which determine the overall service levels.

The traditional providers often utilise copper in their build, and on the occasion that they install fibre, are forced to mirror the architecture of their copper network. This is to ensure that engineers and maintenance can be carried out in a similar way. This means splitting of feeds so that one cable can often supply up to 16 residences, which leads to contention and bottlenecking of bandwidth at peak times. Beyond this the two main differences between copper and fibre are:

  • Speed – Fibre sends data using photons, copper uses electrons. Photons travel faster than electrons meaning that the fibre has over 1000 times more bandwidth available.
  • Reliability – Fibre is less susceptible to environmental factors such as temperature, moisture and signal degradation over distance. Faults on fibre connections associated with the cable itself are 90% less common.

Differences between the AltNets

Because of the vast differences in implementation and service between the traditional providers and the Altnets, Grain does not see the traditional providers as direct competitors, but rather looks towards other Altnet providers as competition. So how do we set them apart?

At Grain we have looked at several factors and in doing so have tried to offer services above and beyond our competition in these key areas:

  1. Fibre and Future Proofing – Grain supply four fibres to each residence which have a total capacity to supply over 120GBp/s, the only supplier who does this. Currently, 1GBp/s is the norm. This extra capacity can serve to supply numerous different applications whilst not being used, but with average data consumption per household up by 240GB per month since last year, it won’t be long before this additional bandwidth is needed.
  2. Speed and Symmetry – At the moment Grain offers 1GB packages as this is all the market currently demands. Grain is set apart from the competition through mirroring the download and upload speeds. Grains speeds are symmetrical meaning that smart technology and gaming are optimised through our network.
  3. Ready and Waiting – Currently Grain is the only provider to guarantee service live on day one, as soon as a new home buyer walks through their door. One less stress when moving house, and one happy new resident.
  4. Proactive Delivery – To make a difference in the new development sector, it's not just the residents who want better service, the developers do as well. Dedicated project managers mean that delivery onsite is managed to help site teams, whilst the nature of a true point to point fibre network means that on average 50% less duct and 30% fewer chambers are needed in order to install the Grain network.
  5. Value for money - What’s the point in having the most advanced network on a development if nobody can afford to use it. Grain guarantees their entry-level product will always be cheaper than BT’s equivalent, whilst its faster packages all come in at a lower cost to all the competitions’ equivalent packages… When it comes to our gigabit service though, there aren’t many which can compare!

Grain is leading the way when it comes to innovation, service and price. In a market where confusing terminology and poor service are a norm, increasingly builders and home buyers are looking for something different. AltNets are a solution and Grain has made it its mission. If Broadband is to be formally recognised as the fourth utility, a new approach is definitely going to be needed.

Contact our business development team: If you would like to connect

Fibre for developers:

Can Housing Developers follow Customer Demand better?

Working in telecoms is equally exciting and challenging at times. It is proven that customers demand a fast, reliable connection available as soon as they move into their new homes. Sounds perfectly reasonable in today’s day and age, right? But why then, in a lot of cases, aren’t adequate networks being installed?

GoCompare has now ranked broadband as #5 in the Top 20 must haves for home buyers, up 3 positions from a couple of years ago. With that in mind, it would seem prudent to install an AltNet alongside the standard incumbent networks whenever possible.

Although the standard part-fibre connection may be more or less sufficient at the moment, WIK Consult who conducted extensive research on behalf of Ofcom, reported that by 2025, UK households will require at least 1 Gb/s download and 600 Mb/s upload speeds to accommodate the rise of the streaming media and smart home connections.

Guaranteeing these speeds, especially uncontended, on the current infrastructure for every household is not just a challenge, it is impossible. Fibre optic cables are indeed being deployed by the incumbent networks, however only part way. This drastically reduces the bandwidth, speed and reliability expected in the future.

An example for this is video streaming which has overwhelmingly taken over from live TV. For the UK alone, Ofcom reported that in 2018 streaming services like Netflix and Amazon surpassed more traditional TV Entertainment. This phenomenon calls for a better infrastructure of full fibre Point-to-Point connections to accommodate growing bandwidth demand.

This is easier said than done though. The current copper network across the UK doesn’t allow for fast or cost-effective upgrade to facilitate full fibre deployment. Another reason is the housing developers’ willingness to look beyond the current requirements and work to futureproof the homes they build with a bespoke new build fibre network.

A lot has changed in the past few years. Quite a few AltNet providers have sprung up to tackle this issue. However, a big miscommunication between AltNets and developers would certainly lead the housing developer to think that installing any AltNet is better than just going with the incumbent network.

This may ring true, though most alternative networks are connecting to Openreach for backhaul, which inevitably impacts the delivery timescales and overall expected service levels.

In our experience, the biggest obstacle to developers not going ahead with installing more than one network on site is the perceived additional work and cost needed. Telecoms is therefore at the back of the list of priorities.

We are working hard to tackle this concern by flipping everything about the traditional telecoms delivery upside down. We deliver a full fibre Point-to-Point connection, uncontended, with almost unlimited capacity and completely independent from other providers. This allows us to manage our backhaul, offsite works and timescales to tackle the biggest pain point for new home buyers – having live and ready connection from the moment they move in. And a true hassle free experience for the developer.

I personally viewed a house on a new build development just last week, hoping to move in when the new homes are ready for 2021. Speaking with some of the residents to get a feel for the area and development, we found out they didn’t have broadband for more than a month and a half! I love the house, but the thought of no connection for that long really does puts me off.

And I am sure this is the experience most new home buyers have. It doesn’t have to be this way. Just think, what if you as a housing developer could do things differently and provide that extra little thing that won’t cost you a penny, but will mean peace of mind for your customers and customer service team – less complaints, happier customers.

If you’d like to connect, send us a message on and let’s talk about how we can help or just have a chat.

Fibre for developers:

How is the UK doing in its efforts to shrink the Digital Gap?

More and more of our partners in the housing sector are insisting on Digital Inclusion initiatives, supporting their own efforts to enable every resident, especially in social housing, to have access to the Internet.

Telecom companies have become instrumental in shaping and delivering the digital customer experience. Often, partnering up with housing associations and local authorities is dependent on the extent of digital inclusion initiatives telecom companies will undertake and with that in mind, an aligned digital strategy is needed across the board.

Working with UK Housing Associations throughout the country, we are very aware of the issues they and residents face when it comes to digital. I have summarised here some of the key concerns Housing Associations have, outlined the Government initiatives to shrink digital illiteracy and increase access to online services, and fundamental prerequisites to a good digital inclusion strategy.

First off, let’s focus on the Housing Associations. Often, they work on tighter budgets compared to private residential developers and even though they have their own new build delivery targets, they can sometimes be determined by the bottom line of managing existing housing stock and residents.

Just over a year ago, Aberdeen City Council undertook research which suggested that the cost to serve residents face-to-face equates to over £7 per person as opposed to £0.32p online. Admittedly, this cost will likely vary in the different parts of the country and will also depend on the specific area socioeconomic factors.

Although this figure may be different elsewhere, the benefits of moving certain services online is certainly driving the trend we are noticing, namely that more social housing associations are proactively looking to add technology both to their existing and new build housing to facilitate management. The most common technologies we see added are various sensors to detect voids, follow humidity levels and live CCTV footage along with systems for customers to arrange repairs and pay bills directly online.

We have worked with HAs across the country to identify the most common barriers preventing people from getting online and although there are 26.6 million connected homes (Ofcom, 2019), there are still over 5 million adults who have not accessed the Internet in the past 3 months (ONS, 2019). What’s stopping them to use the Internet and benefit from the endless supply of information and opportunities then? Mainly availability, affordability and digital skills.

To reduce this number, the Government launched the Digital Inclusion Strategy in 2014 aiming to encourage and amplify efforts to bring more people online. The first step of which is making sure there is fixed broadband line and coverage availability for everyone, a world class infrastructure to support not just the current generation and our present digital consumption but the future demand. According to Ofcom, UK households consume 240GB of data each month, up a quarter since last year. We also observe this trend on our full fibre network with an average of 10% increase of data consumption each month. These facts should drive the infrastructure strategy each developer employs.

To futureproof the entire country, housebuilders must be on the same page, equipping the homes they build with a connection capable of delivering adequate service in the years to come. This is one of the reasons why a lot of house builders are opting to install more than one network on each development. We fully support this shift and are tirelessly working to engage with more developments to deliver full fibre reliable futureproof connection.

Going back to Digital Inclusion efforts, has issued an informal checklist of basic steps to assist people getting online. I have summarised some of the main recommendations below:

Identify user needs and deploy resource to cover the basics. Lambeth Digital Buddies and what they are doing is a good example here. These are people from the community giving their time to teach basic digital skills.

Allow easy access, especially to people who are economically challenged preventing them from getting online on personal computers or smartphones. Digitally forward councils such as Hackney in London provide free access to local library computers.

Promote the benefit and motivate people to get online for better self-sufficiency and connection such as keeping in touch with family and friends via Skype.

It seems like the Government, organisations and telecom providers are taking forward steps to reduce the digital gap. We are also involved in various initiatives with the developers and housing associations we work with and have already seen a difference in those communities.

All in all, I see this as a common effort and to tackle digital exclusion, we all need to work together to deliver accessible service and teach appropriate digital skills. Grains commitment to offer new build fibre to all new developments can also contribute. If you’d like to get in touch, just drop us an email on

Fibre for developers:

Fun Facts Friday round up about Telecoms

A lot is being written and said about broadband and telecoms in general daily. For those who work in telecoms and immediately affected sectors, such as infrastructure and housing, it is always a hot topic, well conversed and debated. Usually good telecommunication services are also a prerequisite to a fast paced economic and social advancement.

For people outside this ‘world’ dominated by discussions about fibre, copper, 5G, smart homes, data demand and so on, is a simpler, more light-hearted layer, fun facts even, about telecoms worth sharing. So here are a few stats and facts that stand out.

According to Ofcom 2018 report, 70% of households’ spend on communication services is on telecoms, growing year on year. This figure is unsurprising given the general downward trend for TV, radio and postal services. Let’s compare this in simple terms - British households spend on average 19 hours a week watching TV (Finder, 2019) and 34 hours a week surfing the web (Telegraph, 2018). Either way, time flies in front of the screen.

This only strengthens the case for futureproofing the homes and commercial establishments built in the UK. They must have the right infrastructure to be viable in the future and only a full fibre connection can support the growing data demand, and new build fibre should be a priority.

We spend so much time using the Internet, but what do we do online? Sending messages and scrolling through social media it turns out (Ofcom, 2018). Mostly during our commute. Around 48% prefer to access the Internet using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets, which makes this fact rather obvious (Statista, 2018).

Once again, this is making the case for solid full fibre backbone infrastructure stronger to support the roll out of 5G and with that, improve connectivity throughout. This will surely provide better connection while in transit which will probably see the average screen time on mobile increase even more.

Currently Bristol, London, Manchester and Birmingham are among UK’s smartest cities offering better fibre network throughout, radio frequency mesh network transmitted via lampposts and various solutions implemented on street level to support lowering the CO2 emissions and increase traffic efficiency (Information Age, 2018). 5G will also be launched in these areas in due course according to various news lets.

Having attended several London First round tables over the past few months, the consensus is that we will likely see a lot of new businesses spring up offering innovative solutions to make our smart cities very competitive with global powers like New York, Tokyo and Singapore.

Another fun fact, on a more global scale, is the 6,600 kilometres of fibre cables being laid between the coasts of Virginia in the USA and France to improve the Internet capacity between Europe and America. A lot of this infrastructure will be controlled and used by tech giants like Facebook and Microsoft working towards higher capacity and online security (Wired, 2018).

According to The Verge, the highest capacity undersea cable will be able to deliver 20% higher speeds than previously thought possible (The Verge, 2019). This is good news given the current data demand per household we see is continuously increasing.

To wrap this fun facts piece, here’s a run through ITU’s 2017 report on who is online and how people use the Internet in the world:

  • 70% of the youngsters (15-24 year olds) are online
  • More men than women use the Internet
  • Mobile is becoming the preferred vehicle to get online on a global scale
  • Developing countries are installing fibre from the start surpassing some developed countries in speed

Always happy to talk about telecoms, especially for residential developments. Give me or my colleagues at Grain a shout, let's connect and discuss bringing in full fibre broadband, live on day 1 to your new residential developments in the UK = happy customers.

Fibre for developers:

Here's what the public and the private sectors are thinking about when it comes comes to 5G

London First once again held another interesting round table discussion today, focusing on the challenges and opportunities 5G will bring.

5G has been a hot topic for some time now and while the media has been largely focusing on the benefits 5G will offer, such as faster speeds, opportunities to advance technologies, smart cities, and more, some of the challenges of practically delivering the infrastructure to enable 5G in the first place have been somewhat undermined.

The cost to upgrade the current infrastructure to enable 5G poses significant limitations to the roll out plan. Therefore, only urban densely populated areas will benefit from 5G for the foreseeable future, which may in turn widen the gap in socioeconomic terms.

At the same time, however, rural areas benefit from better fibre penetration with approximately 9% of homes having access to a fibre connection vs 7% in cities.

London local authorities, who also look after a large proportion of the social housing stock in the capital, expressed the concerns of the residents. Health issues, road closures and diversions, disruption in their buildings while the installation works are taking place, were among the most significant takeaways. Although the industry largely views the roof space and equipment as assets, there must be consideration that these are people’s homes.

The discussion at the event, attended by British Land, BT Group, several London Local Authorities, WiredScore, BAI Communications and more, was a great opportunity to lay on the table what the public and private sector see as challenges, concerns and opportunities and allowed different points of view to be presented.

Digital Connectivity is both an international and a national issue. Good digital connectivity is the foundation of successful business and competitiveness. For example, London is ahead of the curve in terms of deployment and infrastructure compared to Paris and Berlin, yet lags behind New York, Tokyo and Singapore. Some argued that for London to remain the digital capital of Europe and claim its spot in the world ranking, it should compare its infrastructure to that of the US and Asian cities instead.

The final issue that stood out was the need to introduce a London standardised Wayleave to allow broadband providers to retrofit infrastructure and provide fibre to more properties. The City of London was one of the first to pilot a standardised Wayleave, quickly followed by Southwark and now Hackney. This issue, however, remains to be resolved on a wider scale.

If you want to get in touch, email me on

Fibre for developers:

Smart homes and 5G what’s the truth?

Smart homes and 5G what’s the truth?

Last week Richard Robinson our managing director had the pleasure of attending and speaking at the Energy and Utility Alliance’s (EUA) conference at the Warwick University, a very well attended event that had attendees from all sectors within the utilities industry.

He was asked to speak about the smart home and 5G, the latter being a very hot topic of conversation right now. Whilst these two subjects are both strongly linked to the telecoms industry they can be separated. Here were some of the key takes:

Smart Home Technology:

The smart home is another hot topic of conversation right now and is certainly not a fad, with trends pointing to its continued growth. It is currently claimed that 25% of homes in the UK have some form of smart technology within them, be it lighting, thermostats, sound systems, security, fridges, washing machines or one of a plethora of others. With so many technologies on the market, the question now is: how do we define a smart home? Most would class an Alexa or Sonos sound system as the entry point into this market because you can ask it to do things, however today most phones already have this kind of capability. With smart phones being in well over 90% of UK homes, one could argue that almost every home could already be a part of the smart home marketplace.

This being said, and removing smart phones from the equation, a recent survey has confirmed the current uptake of around 25% is accurate, but more interestingly nearly 60% of people said that they wanted some form of smart home technology in their homes. Unfortunately, the clear consensus was that the gadgets and equipment are currently priced too high to achieve a higher take up, prices though are coming down as competition increases and technology moves on, so these figures should see an upward trend in the years to come.

The common query is what speed do I need for a smart home? The reality is simple, every time your fridge tells your smart phone it needs to buy some milk, the amount of data would be calculated in 100s of bytes, this is in comparison to 2,000,000,000 bytes required for a Netflix film, which makes the conclusion easy … speed is irrelevant, reliability is everything to which true point to point fiber has the advantage.

The single key common technology in almost all the smart home equipment is Wi-Fi, it is clear that for the Smart Home to work Wi-Fi is integral to the smooth operation of the technology. It is therefore vital that a reliable network is available to ensure that homes are ready for the future.

Wireless and 5G:

Wireless and fixed line technologies are inherently linked and complement each other very well. For example, weather can affect wireless telecoms, but fixed lines can be damaged by groundworks, neither is perfect and thus a mix is required.

The most common question in recent years is usually, why are companies still installing cables when 5G is widely reported to solve the UKs telecoms issues? It is true that 5G can deliver 1Gbps speeds, it is also true that the distribution equipment is a bit smaller than the 4G and 3G equipment. The issue though sits with the investment case of the businesses installing 5G. To achieve the headline speeds masts that for 4G could be kilometers apart need to be hundreds of meters apart, it will be a case of the digitally rich getting richer in the densely populated city centres, whilst more rural areas remain unconnectable due to the high cost and the lack of existing infrastructure.

So how do the two technologies combine? Simply, we need a wireless network to make connectivity increasingly seamless, but to reduce the costs of deploying a wireless network we need an underlying fibre network to connect to, we cannot have one without the other. With Grain delivering its new build fibre specifically new new developments, we are well placed to help offer this underlying backbone.

Fibre for developers:

CIH Housing 2019

Over previous week the Grain team have been busy attending the annual CIH Housing Conference at the Manchester Central Exhibition Centre. The exhibition looks to showcase innovation and best practice within the housing sector, from ultra-fast broadband all the way to high tech home security products. The exhibition also featured a vast array of keynote addresses examining and debating the biggest challenges within the housing sector.

The conference was attended by over 12,000 delegates, exhibitors and members of the public and saw Grain exhibiting, with our live on day one message resonating with a lot of developers and housing associations. We had a fantastic time meeting the diverse range of developers, as well as technology providers, and look forward to catching up with a lot of these companies in the near future.

Keynote addresses such as “The Future of Smart Home Technology” saw the likes of Kier, Home Group and Google lock horns on the subject. The consensus was that Smart Technologies will continue to grow as an industry, and more products will begin to be offered by developers as additions to their product. An increased bandwidth capability will, therefore, be required, and Grain are at the forefront of both Bandwidth currently, and future capability as well.

With smart home technology being such a hot topic at this years event, Grain ran a competition to win a Sonos Alexa enabled smart speaker. The lucky winner was Nick Davidge of Ilke Homes (pictured). Ilke Homes are at the cutting edge of offsite built modular housing, another hot topic in several Keynote Addresses.

The Grain team learnt a lot at this year's event and felt we made some fantastic contacts. It was great to meet everyone who stopped by to speak with us, and the event overall gave us a really positive outlook on the challenges for the industry in the future, we can’t wait to see you all next year to talk more about our new build fibre networks!

Fibre for developers:

Technology is changing the way we watch TV

Since Netflix first launched their streaming service to the UK in 2012 the internet has progressively changed the way the UK consumer watches television. Forecasts show that Netflix’s will have more subscribers than SKY’s satellite TV service by the end of 2019 with over 10 million customers. Amazons own streaming TV service has a subscription base of almost 4 million with NowTV clocking around 1.4 million subscribers there is a shift as the habits of UK consumers change.

With the help of a good broadband connection and a smart TV, consumers can access a range of viewing options – among othersFreeview play, NowTV, Amazon Video, Netflix, BBC Iplayer, ITV player and Youtube. By the end of 2019 Sky has committed to providing all their UK satellite TV content online through their NowTV and Sky Go platforms allowing everyone with a decent internet connection access to their full channel portfolio online without the need for a satellite dish. In 2018 42% of UK households owned smart tv’s and forecasts predict this is set to continue to 50% by the end of 2019. As Sky satellite TV subscriptions continue to fall there is a definite shift to more flexible TV streaming services. Our Technical team at Grain note that the bulk of the streaming traffic on Grain’s network is mainly from Netflix, Youtube and Amazon Video with each Grain customer streaming an average of 3.6 hours per day.

This month Ofcom reported the average UK broadband speeds had risen to 54.2 Mbps for downloads and 7.2 Mbps for uploads. As consumers continue to change their viewing habits and devices, developers and homebuilders have an opportunity to future proof new homes and give their customers access to true full fibre networks. On the Grain network we have seen an average per household data usage increase of 57GB per day over 1 year, a trend which is predicted to continue. At Grain, we are currently working with developers on sites all over the UK, specifically focusing on new build fibre (both rural and urban) providing homebuyers access to the most advanced gigabit fibre broadband network in the UK with symmetrical 1000 Mbps download and upload speeds.

If you’d like to future proof your development with hyperfast true fibre broadband and want to chat with one of the team, lets connect:

Fibre for developers:

Are you sure you are getting full fibre broadband?

After being under pressure for some time to review the current standards and following a lot of deliberation during a case with a UK ISP, we are very pleased that the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has concluded that using ‘full fibre’ to describe only part fibre service is misleading.

This comes after last year the ASA only recommended minor tweaks to the current standards for advertising fibre products, claiming it is not among the most important factors to residents.

To us this seemed unjust given that fast speeds and a reliable connection come in the top 10 most important factors when moving into a new home (GoCompare 2017)

With its recent decision, as a new build fibre provider, we welcome the ASA’s ruling in favour of using full fibre to describe exactly what it stands for.

‘True fibre’ ‘full fibre’ and ‘pure fibre’ all refer to service delivered via fibre optic cables all the way to the router in each home.

Full fibre can not only deliver the gigabit speeds customers are now accustomed to seeing advertised everywhere but easily reach multi-gigabit capability when the market demands it.

Much of the issues homeowners face with their service, both in new build and older existing properties, stem from the fact their connection is only part fibre at best. In other words, their broadband is delivered via copper cables which have a much lower bandwidth, incapable of delivering faster speeds and unreliable at peak times.

The hard work will now begin, there will be a need to undo what has been ingrained in customers’ minds. It will be important to educate consumers on what true fibre actually is so that they can make informed decisions when purchasing their service, it will also mean they can understand exactly what they are getting when purchasing a new home.

Our team at Grain have been leading the way. We deliver full fibre all the way to each customer’s router ensuring their connection is live on day 1, reliable and uncontended.

Fast broadband connections will only continue to climb the ranks with more and more people working from home, smart devices connected in the home and streaming services like Netflix or BBC iPlayer that all take up valuable bandwidth.

The tide is changing and customer demand is driving the pace of this shift. We are seeing more and more housebuilders turning away from part fibre products to install a pure fibre infrastructure which futureproofs customers’ homes.

Want to chat? Let's connect and follow us on Twitter @grainconnect and LinkedIn

Get in touch |

Fibre for developers:

UKHA Awards 2019

Last night Grain were delighted to attend the UKHA awards, an annual award ceremony which look to identify the great work being done in the housing sector, with awards ranging from Homebuilder of the year to inclusivity and diversity pioneer, also identifying the impact made by both small and large organisations.

Over 1000 people attended the black-tie event hosted at the fantastic Grosvenor Hotel in London’s Mayfair by the hilarious Sally Phillips. Terrie Alafat, chief executive for the Chartered Institute of Housing also made an address and spoke about her desire to leave a better place for her children and grandchildren, an inspiration which has been doubled down since becoming a grandmother. She said:

“These awards are an amazing showcase of the ingenuity, innovation and passion of housing professionals and organisations right across the UK. They are a tribute to the outstanding work done every day to provide safe, good-quality, affordable homes and create the foundation for sustainable communities and happy, healthy lives.”

It was clear that the shortlists for all the awards emphasised this social responsibility, and Grain are delighted to be recognised within this larger group.

Grain were shortlisted for the Innovator partner of the year award, a nomination which acknowledges the new approach Grain are taking towards both delivery of services alongside developers, and provision of service to our customers. Unfortunately, we didn’t come away with the award, but were hugely encouraged by the level of support we received from both the home builders in attendance and the other finalists.

Award winners were:

  • Professional services partner of the year: Plentific
  • Direct labour organisation of the year: Thirteen Group
  • Contractor of the year: Engie
  • Homebuilder of the year (<1,000 programme): Swan Housing
  • Homebuilder of the year (1,000+ programme): The Hyde Group
  • Digital landlord of the year: Yarlington Housing Group
  • Campaign of the year: United Welsh
  • Innovator partner of the year: Mannifest Software Solutions
  • Innovative landlord of the year: Poplar Harca
  • Residential training award (<12,000 homes): Taff Housing
  • Resident employment and training award (12,000+ homes): WHG
  • Neighbourhood transformation award: Onward Homes
  • Homelessness project of the year (<4,000 homes): Grŵp Cynefin
  • Homelessness project award (4,000+ homes): Jigsaw Homes Group
  • Best older people's landlord: Connexus
  • Best supported housing landlord: Your Homes Newcastle
  • Inclusivity and diversity pioneer: Tower Hamlets Homes
  • Council of the year: Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • Landlord of the year: Tower Hamlets Homes

Fibre for developers:

New Build Fibre specialists

Homeowner Satisfaction - A Deeper Dive

March is not usually a month to shout about, but it’s a big month for homebuilders across the UK. The National new home customer satisfaction survey is released, and developers are able to gain a bit of insight as to how their customers view their homes and wider developments.

This year has seen an increase in new homeowner satisfaction, with 87% of new homeowners stating that they would recommend their home builder to a friend, compared with overall falls in this statistic for the previous four years.

Taking back control

For the most part developers can control the quality of home they produce, from using the best available building materials, to installing high quality essential appliances. One of the areas which by design must be left to a third party are utilities, and in this case new build fibre. This is one area which can affect a developer score and in many cases is out of the developers control.

This is were Grain offer an element of control back to the developer. Grains commitment to be ready on day one which is achieved through smart network design, proactive project management and their backup technology means that a bad satisfaction survey due to a resident not having access to the internet could be a thing of the past.

Rob Searcy, Business Development at Grain, said: “During my time working at other telecoms providers, a major difficulty was being ready on time for every resident. It was made difficult by constantly evolving site requirements and often the inability to site new cabinets needed for certain plots. Grains network is built on a much simpler point to point basis which means a much smoother installation process. Grains project managers are also able to be proactive in their delivery of a site, making sure that any potential issues are met prior to them becoming one”

“It’s a great feeling to know that Grain see being ready on day one as one of their major focusses, I can genuinely make this promise to a developer knowing that it will be of the upmost importance to the team around me. It is not only of huge benefit to the developers I speak to, but a core component of Grains business model, so it won’t be changing any time soon!”

Room for improvement

The homeowner satisfaction survey has shown an improvement in the market this year, but it will be a challenge for developers to maintain this upward trend. In order to do this, it may mean taking a fresh look at some of the problems which have long been accepted. Telecoms provision has always been one of these areas, but with new players on the scene it certainly doesn’t have to remain that way.

Fibre for developers:

Countesswells ‘perfectly placed’ to deliver digital healthcare

The developers behind the Countesswells project in Aberdeen believe digital healthcare in the delivery of primary care could be piloted at the development.

A major new inquiry into the future of primary care in Scotland by MSPs on the health and sport committee was launched recently. The inquiry calls on people to outline their hopes for the next generation of care which could include digital consultations with GPs and other health and well-being providers.

Countesswells Development Limited (CDL), which is behind the £1 billion community, took the innovative decision to future-proof Countesswells by installing the very best fibre optic network at the same time as they were bringing in other services such as gas, electricity and water.

As a result, the residents at Countesswells have immediate access to the UK’s fastest broadband speeds, which are 35 times faster than the national average, when they move in. The new community is the first in Scotland to have access to IGbps. This means that a 4K movie, which would typically take eight hours to download, will take just over ten minutes.

Countesswells project director, Jim Fitzsimons, said: “With this level of digital connectivity, our community is ideally placed to trial innovations such as digital consultations with GPs.

“When we decided to provide hyperfast broadband to the site, it wasn’t just about offering a differentiator to new homebuyers, it was about creating a truly digitally networked community. We have a place-making team with Aberdeen City Council which is centred around taking a different approach to building a new community. We are not simply deciding how and when the schools and community facilities will be delivered but considering how they can collaborate, integrate and connect with the people they serve digitally to meet future needs.”

Mr Fitzsimons explained that the ethos behind Countesswells is about creating a place which is fit for the future but based on traditional community values. To do this, an emphasis has been placed on delivering well thought-out formal and informal green and civic spaces, playparks and even a community orchard, where people can come together and a real sense of community spirit can flourish.

He added: “But in today’s increasingly digital world, it’s also about creating a digital community – ensuring that we have a digital network which connects residents with their public services and amenities.

“We’ve explored what the future might look like: how people will work and play and how they will access services such as healthcare, education and policing. And we’ve designed the community physically and virtually to meet today’s and tomorrow’s needs.”

Countesswells entered into a partnership with internet service provider Grain in 2017. This led to the installation of the fibre optic cabling to deliver the ultrafast broadband and the data centre which contains advanced networking capability to turn the community’s network into an intelligent integrated network.

Rich Robinson, managing director of Grain, said: “To reduce digital poverty and exclusion in an increasingly digital world, we have to make reliable broadband accessible and affordable. By installing the fibre optic network and building a data centre on site, from the out-set, CDL has effectively made it easier and cheaper for people to access reliable, fast speeds.

“When the NHS and a surgery come on site, they will have the ability to plug in and go, using the existing network. But of more importance, is that with the connectivity and the data centre on site, data does not have to travel to a local exchange and then a national one before being received. It is simply sent to the data centre and then directly to the recipient within Countesswells. We can therefore have a community network which does not require internet connection – residents just need a mobile device. There is then no cost to using the network to link up with their surgery, their school, their library – even their local shops and their neighbours – whilst remaining completely secure.”

The new community at Countesswells, which will have 3,000 new homes including 750 affordable, will be phased over 15 years, boosting the local economy and supporting 1,000 construction jobs in the region. Facilities within Countesswells will include a new secondary school and two primary schools, healthcare facilities, local business units, retail and leisure, together with high quality open spaces linking the community to the existing environmental resources at Countesswells and Hazlehead. The project will also include upgraded access roads.

Fibre for developers:

My First Week at Grain

First Impressions are everything

It is a statement which set me in good stead throughout my professional career, but is now one of the main messages which stuck in my head after my first week with Grain.

As I did my upmost to make that good first impression in my first week, it became clear to me that it is something which genuinely drives Grain and is showcased in their services to both the end user and the developers they work hand in hand with.

Grain have invested a lot time into understanding exactly what residents want from their broadband service, but also what the developer wants when installing it on their sites. The brand and the product have truly been built around these two factors. This solid foundation gives me great confidence moving forward in the future relationships I aim to build, maintain and grow over the next few years.

What makes us different?

Just like in any industry, moving between competitors can be a daunting task and it certainly was for me when moving to Grain. I have spent the last 8 years building my career within a large telecoms provider, the colleagues I left will be greatly missed.

So what made me consider Grain as a genuine prospect and a company I could trust my future with? For me there where 5 contributing factors all of which combine to produce a fantastic service and something which I can be confident in taking forward to developers, and which I believe sets Grain apart:

1. It’s Ready and waiting

Grain make it their top priority in getting service ready and waiting when residents move in. It is something which I haven’t seen done to this level before in the industry. It is integral to both customer satisfaction and Grains customer uptake so it will remain a top priority going forward, removing the stress for both customer and developer.

2. The Dynamic True Fibre Network

The network itself has been built from the ground up with reliability and unmatched speed at its forefront. The point to point nature of each customers connection mean that symmetrical upload and download 1000mbps speeds are par for the course, whilst also allowing for the best possible reliability.

3. The Uptake Speaks for Itself

One of the most obvious indicators of a services success is in its uptake by the residents themselves. On sites which Grain has been installed alongside other telecoms providers there is an uptake of up to 95% and the comparable speed packages on offer give excellent value for money.

4. Leave It To Us

Due to the nature of Grains network, onsite civils should be less of a hassle. Only one main cabinet is needed to supply an entire site meaning less cabinet citing headaches. With less cabinets come less cables in the ground, so the number of ducts and chambers required will also be reduced from the current norm. Duct & Chamber installation and internal home cabling are the only responsibilities of the developer meaning Grain take care of the rest.

5. An End to End Service

Dedicated project management looks a little different at Grain. Our planners are also our project managers & site liaisons, meaning that the person best placed to deal with anything which might change along the way has full control over everything needed to deliver a job efficiently and effectively.

The start of something great

Grain have been supplying their fantastic service to developments for a little while now, but for me this is the start of what I hope will be a really fulfilling and exciting opportunity. I truly believe that Grain provides an incredible service and I cant wait to start spreading the word!

I hope to speak with as many developers as possible in the near future about Grains new build fibre solution, but in the meantime please feel free to get in touch if you have a project you think we could help you with.

Fibre for developers:

Moving at the speed of ... WiFi

WiFi is one of the most powerful invisible tools ever invented. Many outdoor areas, almost all coffee shops and public buildings will offer free WiFi to connect to when you’re out and about. And of course, your WiFi at home. The bliss of being able to connect your smartphone without using any of your mobile network data allowances.

And then, you’re suddenly in your back garden and your WiFi doesn’t reach! Pretty annoying, we know.

WiFi generally works well in confined areas and has a reach of about 20 metres. Generally, the rule is the farther you are from the router, the lower your connectivity levels, the lower the speed. One of the most frustrating factors limiting WiFi performance is in the obstructions between the devices such as your walls at home. So now in addition to the distance between your router and your farthest point in your home you’d like to receive WiFi signal, there are a few walls standing in the way.

Interference from other technology also plays a part in your WiFi performance. Many everyday appliances that also rely on electromagnetic waves to work, most notably your microwave, are another reason why your WiFi dips when they are on.

It’s the clash of the frequencies that cause this interference and unfortunately, WiFi will behave erratically in the meantime or even worse, the Internet will stop altogether.

Newer WiFi equipment and the latest technology such as Access Points and WiFi boosters can help solve some of these issues by offering better WiFi connectivity throughout your home. Do your research before committing to one though as some may be more compatible with certain standard routers.

Fibre for developers:

Innovator of the Year. This is how we got here

The past 12 months marked a remarkable year for Grain. We are exceeding our growth targets because of the innovative approach we have taken towards building relationships and building networks.

This has shone through and we are proud to be a finalist in the “Innovator of the Year” category at the UK Housing Awards 2019! A team of out of the box thinkers and dedicated doers, Grain has been tirelessly working to deliver the most innovative and sometimes unusual solutions for you, that work.

Alongside the other shortlisted disruptors in the Innovator of the Year category, the housing industry proves to be getting stronger and more efficient year on year.

In retrospect of the past year we recognise our achievements - we have established our independent network of full fibre infrastructure way beyond the North West where it originated from more than a decade ago, delivering new build fibre solutions specifically tailored to new developers.

We have the pleasure and privilege to work with most of the national housebuilders as well as smaller more bespoke developers, all of who are looking to offer a better product to their customers, our customers.

Being a finalist for Innovator of the Year stimulates our ambitions to continue to shake up the more traditional side of the industry by coming up with more innovative ‘why not try this approach’ solutions to solving some of the most persisting problems in telecoms for housebuilders and developers.

Watch this space and join us in our journey to deliver a better connection to your new homes.

If you'd like you get in touch, give us a call on 0330 223 2266 or email us on

Fibre for developers:

Building Brand Identity to leave a lasting impression

Having a killer product or service nowadays will only be relevant in the world if it has a strong brand identity, visual presence, values and meaning.

Grain partnered with BelieveIn, the UK branch of this talented international brand design agency to create this image, because of their deep understanding of who we wanted to be among our competitors.

Having chosen to showcase Grain in his upcoming book, “Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding”, gives us immense pride in the brand we created and tirelessly work to expand and evolve.

Just like BelieveIn who firmly stand behind definitive proposals as oppose to speculative suggestions, when tasked to create for a client, we approach every network design we do, every leaflet we create, every internal and external communication with clients and customers, with the same precision and dedication. Our brand identity, everything it embodies and values it created, is what makes Grain such a special place to work at.

David Airey is aiming to reach out to designers, students and entrepreneurs who are looking to understand better what makes a brand effective in a very competitive world of brands, some powerful, some lost in the noise.

We are grateful to BelieveIn who took the wild ride with us to create something outstanding. And we are grateful to have been recognised in your book, David! Identity Designed: The Definitive Guide to Visual Branding

Read more here.

Build It Aberdeen!

Build It Aberdeen is a one day conference focusing on the challenges currently being faced by the industry, along with sharing educational and inspiring case studies and projects, each helping to put the North-East construction industry on the map.

The event already has a strong line up of speakers who will discuss some of the looming issues in the area, economic drivers and challenges as well as engage in conversation how to propel the region forward faster. Presentations on Delivering more homes for Scotland, Investment in the North-East and various case studies, including on Countesswells, one of the largest developments in Aberdeen at the moment where we are proud to deliver full fibre gigabit connection, will be put forward.

We would like to meet you at the event to discuss our new build fibre solutions, please get in touch anytime:

Gergana Georgieva, Business Development

Event details:

30 November 2018

Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

Fibre for developers:

RESI 2018 - meet us there

Themed under the 3 Ds, Debate. Diversity. Delivery. This year's conference promises to be bigger and better than ever. With sessions on affordability, land release, offsite construction and more, we look forward to participating in the discussions and meet housing professionals looking to make a change.

We are focused on delivering full fibre gigabit broadband to each home while reducing the build cost and designing networks with the customer and the developer in mind. We work with some of the biggest house builders in the country as well as smaller developers all focused on bringing additional value to the residents and ensuring their homes have the right infrastructure to take them into the future. If you feel like we should meet to talk about our new build fibre, get in touch and let's chat.

Meet is at RESI Convention 2018 on 12th - 14th September.

Get in touch:

Gergana, Business Development

mob: 07535171220

See you there.

Fibre for developers:

Grain signs with Keepmoat Homes to deliver full fibre broadband connection

Keepmoat Homes, one of the UK’s largest housing developers, and Grain, the UK’s most advanced fibre broadband network, have partnered together for the first time to deliver full fibre broadband connection to over 200 homes in Bolsover.

Residents of Hedgerows at Mooracre Lane, Bolsover, will have access to a fully integrated broadband connection delivering hyperfast speed from the day they move into their brand-new state of the art property. Customers will be able to choose from several package speeds to suit their needs, they will be able to access a full gigabit worth of connection, this is over 20 times faster than the average UK speed

The 10-hectare site will be home to 212 detached, semi-detached and terraced 2, 3 and 4 bed properties set in a rural location.

The properties go on sale In the Autumn, with first occupations anticipated November/December 2018

Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain said of the new partnership, “We are excited to be working with such a well organised, fast paced and forward-thinking developer, it is clear that we can provide value to these larger developments”

Lizzie Burda, Sales Director of Keepmoat Homes said “We are delighted to be associated with Grain. Our purchasers at ‘Hedgerows, Mooracre, will be amongst the first in our Group to benefit from having instant broadband connection. It is one of the number one priorities for our customers once they move in; enabling those who work from home to carry on with their business & for families to enjoy trouble free super-fast service...”

About Grain:

Grain is the latest and most advanced fibre broadband network in the UK, focusing specifically on new build fibre olutions. Launched in 2016, Grain is a joint venture between Pinnacle Group and Solway Communications, providing hyperfast fibre broadband networks into new residential and community infrastructure developments.

Grain deliver the latest in broadband technology, tailoring a solution for each and every community. By seamlessly integrating with developments right from the start, we can ensure only the very best offer – and best service – to our customers and communities.

For more information please visit:

Fibre for developers:

Housing 2018 - discussing the future of housing, technology, delivery and more

Let's meet at Housing 2018 at the end of June to talk about Grain new build fibre solutions. As usual the program includes debates, presentations and conversations with some of the most inspiring companies, politicians and business leaders on matters such as solving the housing crisis, innovative building methods, smart technologies and many more.

According to recent statistics, UK needs more than 4 million homes to catch up with the increasing demand along with revised policies to ensure one of the biggest housing issues of our generation - affordability.

As usual, new technologies and the smart home will take centre stage. We will likely see new developments in home automation, data demand and broadband connections - very much in line with our focus.

If you're a housebuilder, developer, utility provider or consultancy and you think we should meet, get in touch with Gergana from our Business Development team on

See you there.

Fibre for developers:

Grain has teamed up with cloud based CCTV to enable service to hundreds of social homes

In South West London, the install of cloud-based CCTV in social housing has been a catalyst for providing high speed new build fibre to all 320 properties on an estate – bringing superfast broadband to residents.

Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) sought to improve CCTV provision at its Edgar Road estate in Hounslow, which has seen antisocial behaviour. RHP was already using the Cloudview system, which provides access to CCTV footage via the cloud, in some of its other properties. RHP found the cost of broadband connectivity across the estate was prohibitive. In December 2017 broadband operator Grain Connect stepped in and agreed to provide full fibre broadband across the site. This will support CCTV and other communal systems as well as high speed broadband services to every resident who wants them.

The agreement sees Grain install a resilient and uncontended full fibre to all properties on the estate at full speed connectivity, regardless of how much their neighbours use the service. There will also be spare fibres available, enabling RHP to add other services in the future. Groundwork is in progress (pictured) and Grain hopes to have the service fully operational in a few weeks.

In parallel Cloudview is installing its CCTV system, which encrypts footage and sends it to secure cloud storage, where authorised RHP staff can view. This enables RHP to review any incidents as soon as they are reported and provide video evidence to the police. It also alerts RHP if there are problems with any cameras, so staff can guarantee that the system is fully operational at all times.

Tom Way, Innovation Project Manager at RHP, said: “It’s a win-win situation for all parties – our residents get Gigabit broadband and increased security, while we have immediate access to CCTV footage for a fraction of the cost of paying for a traditional broadband service.”

“We’ve explained how the CCTV system works to our residents, so they know that if they report a problem we’ll be able to find the footage quickly and, if appropriate, pass the information directly to the relevant authorities for action. It also saves time for our housing management staff, as they don’t have to go on site to view footage and then spent a lot of time investigating before they can hand information to the authorities. Cloudview is now part of the specification for all our new build properties.”

Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain, said: “Digital inclusion is a key issue for communities like this, and fibre solves the problem while making the estate a safer place to live. Our aim is to help RHP confirm their position as one of the most advanced and forward-thinking housing associations in London and the UK, which will include rolling out fibre to all 8,000 RHP homes in the Richmond area.”

And James Wickes, CEO of Cloudview, said: “This project shows that housing associations can benefit from the latest technology if they think outside the box and build partnerships with like-minded organisations. RHP has found a way to bring increased security to its residents with the added benefit of high speed broadband, and I’m sure that this will be the first of many such projects as other housing associations learn from their experience.”

Please read the original press release here.

Fibre for developers:

David Wilson Homes and Grain have joined forces to deliver full fibre broadband to Weston Meadow

Works are under way and the partnership will see Grain work closely with David Wilson Homes to deliver the most advanced full fibre broadband network to the 95 homes and additional facilities of the development located in the highly desired Calne, Wiltshire. Surrounded by countryside, Weston Meadows is in a convenient location for commuters with easy access to Chippenham, Swindon and Bath.

Weston Meadow will see 2, 3 and 4 bedroom homes built over the next few months, reservations will open soon. You can read more about this development here.

Calne has seen resurgence in new house provision over the past few years with 600+ new homes being completed. Grain will be bringing Gigabit full fibre broadband to the new homes ensuring the connection is ready to meet the demands of the smart home technologies. Grain broadband will be ready for each resident when they move in.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the local residents and shows a significant shift in the market with Barratt and David Wilson Homes leading the way in forward thinking" said Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain.

Grain connect deliver new build fibre specific solutions to developers across the UK.

Fibre for developers:

Paying for a landline you never use? You're not alone.

It’s no surprise that younger generations are increasingly choosing to use their mobiles as primary method of communication – making and receiving calls, texting, and getting online.

One of the current debates is why do you have to pay for a landline when you don’t use it. According to Kate Devine at MoneySupermarket, only 1 in 5 who pay for a landline actually uses it.

However, often customers choose not to look beyond the monthly landline cost they are being charged and so don’t realise that if their home is not connected with fibre optic cables but receive broadband via copper cables, then avoiding the landline cost is inevitable.

Some providers, such as Vodafone, have recognised customer frustration about this and have instead built the landline charge into their broadband cost. However, given the costly landline rental prices, this move doesn’t look like it will solve the issue but only increase the cost of the broadband packages.

Another interesting statistic is that according to a Money Saving Expert survey 80% of people under 30 either don’t have a landline at all or don’t ever use one. The landline rental cost seems obsolete and yet monthly billed to customers who have simply moved towards using their mobiles instead. Recently the Conservative MP Ed Vaizey referred to these charges as outdated.

Mobiles are going to slowly but permanently replace landlines as primary form of voice communication, at least at home. There are alternative solutions to the traditional landline which can play a pivotal role in your household or business budget such as VoIP technology, which offers on average a 40% reduction in cost compared to a traditional landline.

It seems that most UK broadband providers will still require home owners to have landline and pay for line rental even if it’s never used. The only difference is that it is now just bulked into the cost of internet.

This is because most UK Internet providers can only deliver broadband over the old telephone copper cables. Basically, unless there’s fibre network in the area or fibre is installed in the homes, then home owners will be tied to the landline rental charge even if they don’t want to.

There’s good news though. The UK government has committed to expanding the fibre network and offer faster speeds, beating the UK average national of 42Mbs. This will be a lengthy and costly process likely to take years to come but it’s certainly the way forward.

For a lot of developers, it’s becoming the norm to look for alternatives to please prospective buyers in the competitive landscape and win sales. If a new development is equipped with fibre optic cables, then residents won’t have to commit to a landline.

Here at Grain we deliver VoIP landlines to customers through our new build fibre. We deliver fibre to each home eliminating the pricey landline monthly cost customers usually would pay on copper connection. Get in touch to find out more -

Fibre for developers:

Is it time to leave the landline behind and switch to VoIP?

Landlines have been in our lives since the late 19th century making the world smaller, businesses bigger, and knowledge and news exchange faster.

However, there’s a new kid on the block these days, the VoIP technology (voice over Internet protocol) which started creeping in around 10 years ago, though invented in the 70s when it was used by the US defence.

Landlines are still prevalent in UK households, especially because most UK homes are connected to the Internet via copper telephone lines, also known as ADSL technology.

Adopting VoIP has many advantages outweighing some of the traditional landline capabilities which make both coexist in many households and businesses, at least for the time being.

Here’s a brief break down of what’s important to know when considering whether or not to upgrade to VoIP.

In terms of security, landline takes the lead. Because VoIP calls are transmitted over the internet, authorities and hackers could potentially access your conversations. However, VoIP providers are taking this issue to heart and continuously strengthening the encryptions to allow for a safe connection, free of eavesdropping.

In terms of convenience, VoIP offers access to your home number from anywhere you are as long as you’re connected to the Internet and provided you have downloaded the mobile app. In addition, VoIP offers call diversion, do not disturb function, caller ID, three-way calling, voicemail which can be accessed via email or online. In comparison, landlines have very limited abilities and usually would not offer much beyond answering machine service.

In terms of reliability, VoIP outshines landlines but only when the internet speed is fast, consistent and reliable. In poorly connected areas in the UK, or slower Internet speed, landlines take the lead –calls don’t depend on signal strength.

In terms of cost, VoIP is the unprecedented winner. Many VoIP providers offer free international calls in addition to more cost effective domestic call charges compared to landline. Depending on the provider, VoIP can be more than 40% cheaper than traditional landlines.

Currently VoIP’s adoption is higher in businesses compared to private homes. This is mainly due to the insufficient knowledge people generally have of the service as an alternative to their landlines.

It’s certainly a better option to consider if your home is connected to the Internet via fibre optic cables which support superfast and hyperfast Internet speeds and where the broadband connection is not dependent on the old telephone copper lines.

Here at Grain we offer VoIP phone line. Just plugin your normal phone and enjoy the benefits the connection offers. With Grain focusing on delivering new build fibre specifically.

Fibre for developers:

What really is Fibre Broadband?

In simple terms, it’s a piece of glass that can carry data at the fastest possible speeds, it’s a technology that was invented in the early 20th century but due to manufacturing limitations wasn’t rolled out to the masses until much later.

Fibre optic cables send a pulse of light down a fibre at light speed capable of speeds far in excess of 1,000Mbps. In fact, they are physically able to deliver far greater speeds but the technology to do so at present is extremely expensive and bulky.

There’s two types of fibre connections. One is fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and the other is fibre to the premises (FTTP). However, only FTTP is true full fibre connection directly to your home or office.

FTTC means that your street cabinet is connected to fibre but your speed is limited by the copper between the cabinet and your home. Copper cables transmit with much lower bandwidth making them significantly inferior to fibre optic cables and as a result, the speed you get isn’t that remarkable especially if you don’t live right next to the street cabinet.

So when you read “Super Fast Fibre” or something on those lines what they mean is fibre nearby but not quite to your door.

Two examples of this are BT Openreach’s G.Fast technology or Virgin Media’s DOCSIS 3.0 & 3.1 both of which are a fancy way of saying fibre to the cabinet with copper for what is known as the “last mile”. Although both of these new technologies will potentially speed up those in the immediate vicinity of a cabinet, as the distance increases from the cabinet performance drops significantly.

Unfortunately, it is therefore a case of the rich getting richer in terms of speed. At the moment G.Fast is in trial phase and the DOCSIS system is only available to certain locations so to the vast majority we need to rely on the FTTC option which at best delivers 70Mbps and on average is around 40Mbps.

To put it in perspective, having hyperfast broadband directly to your home (FTTP) will allow you to download a 2-hour long 4K film in 10 minutes or less, compared to 6+ hours on the standard copper connection (FTTC), one that most of us have in our homes at the moment.

A huge benefit of a fibre optic connection is that it is immune to interference, each home is fitted with a unique cable which makes the connection a lot more secure. Another advantage is that the speed you get isn’t dependent on the distance of your home to the street cabinet.

A current issue in the industry is that customers are unaware of the difference between fibre all the way to the home or just to the cabinet, so much so the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) have commissioned an independent committee to determine how to change this so that people know what they are buying.

Here at Grain we connect customers only with a true full fibre to your home connection, FTTP, focusing specifically on new build fibre. We have full control over our network allowing us to be proactive and deliver symmetrical download/upload speeds. This also means that your connection will not be affected by peak times usage or your neighbour’s online activities. You can still reach crazy fast speeds. Whilst still on a competitively priced package.

The demand for fibre optic to your home connection will increase steadily over the next few years in direct response to the very connected lives we all live. We are working hard to connect as many homes as possible, fibre broadband is the future.

Fibre for developers:

Digital Opportunities 2018 – Proptech from strategy to reality

Grain is joining companies like Skanska, Doordeck and Arup at this exciting event on the 8th February in Manchester.

The conference will focus on digital transformation and innovation, subjects at the core of our strategy to deliver the most advanced next-generation broadband service to residential developments across the UK. Grain will be there to talk about our new build fibre solution.

Place North West is organising this event which will reiterate the importance of tech innovations in real estate and how the industry will be repositioning to meet the demands of the new technologies coming into our lives, more focused on smart homes and automated solutions.

To meet us, get in touch on

Fibre for developers:

David Wilson Homes and Grain will deliver hyperfast speed to new residents

London, December 2017 – Grain has announced partnership with Barratt Homes’ major brand David Wilson Homes. The partnership will see Grain work closely with David Wilson Homes to deliver the most advanced full fibre broadband network to the planned new development in a highly desired area in Calne, Wiltshire.

Calne has seen resurgence in new houses provision over the past few years with 600+ new homes being completed. Grain will be bringing gigabit broadband to the new homes ensuring the connection is ready to meet the demands of the smart home technologies. Grain broadband will be ready for each resident when they move in.

''This is a fantastic opportunity for Grain and we are looking forward to working with the team at David Wilson Homes, Calne currently suffers from below average speeds, we are excited to bring a product that will make speeds 28x the UK average available to customers'' said Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain.

Grain and David Wilson Homes are looking to have the first residents move in later in 2018.

Fibre for developers:

RHP Homes Get Gigabit New Build Fibre

London, December 2017 – Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) has appointed Grain to retrofit over 700 properties in South West London and deliver gigabit enabled full fibre broadband network to each home.

Grain will facilitate the delivery of CCTV and other communal systems to the properties which will allow RHP to increase their efficiency and service offering to their targeted levels.

The partnership with RHP will allow Grain to grow their London customer base in the social housing market further as well as ensure future opportunities to work on developments in the Richmond and Twickenham areas.

Grain is a statutory operator and will be doing the first onsite ground works during the first two months of the new year. The first properties to receive the true fibre service will be homes on the Edgar Road estate the aim is to get them live in early March.

Rich Robinson, Managing Director at Grain said: ''We believe this is a fantastic opportunity for both Grain and RHP, digital inclusion has a massive role to play in communities like these. Helping RHP connect with their residents and making it a safer place to live is a great opportunity. Our aim is to help RHP confirm their position as one of the most advanced and forward thinking housing associations in London and the UK.''

Fibre for developers:

Addressing the digital divide for social housing tenants

According to the 2017 consumer digital index, more than 3.1m people in the UK lack basic digital skills. Of these, more than 63% are social housing tenants. ‘Digital skills’ includes the ability to use a search engine to find information, complete online application forms, manage money or solve a problem using a digital service.

Local authorities and social housing organisations are already responding to this issue by shaping policy and providing opportunities for people to learn new skills. However, there is still a fundamental issue of access to an affordable, reliable, fast internet connection in the first place.

Grain Connect Managing Director Rich Robinson commented: “The Government has identified that inadequate infrastructure and poor connectivity are the main barriers to digital inclusion and, with social housing often the main tenure to fall short in this area, now is the time for local authorities to look at innovative and cost-effective ways to meet this need.”

Faster solutions Grain is the latest and most advanced broadband company in the country focussing on delivering new build fibre. UK owned and operated, the Grain network offers residents broadband speeds of well over 1,000Mbs, 35 times faster than the UK average. While traditionally focusing on new-build projects to install its technology during the development phase, the company has turned to local authorities and mixed-tenure estates in a bid to offer better, faster, cheaper solutions.

Rich added: “We are actively pursuing partnerships with councils and housing associations where we work together to bridge the digital exclusion gap, offering solutions to allow social residents to more actively participate in society and increase their skills.

“Government has identified that inadequate infrastructure and poor connectivity are the main barriers to digital inclusion and, with social housing often the main tenure to fall short in this area, now is the time for local authorities to look at innovative and cost-effective ways to meet this need.”

“Because we are smaller than some of the other national providers, we can tailor the solution and be more agile to meet the needs of mixed-tenure developments. We are always looking for projects across the board in terms of affordability because our network and project management teams have proven to deliver regardless of location, size and complexity of the building. In this sense, the main benefit here for local authorities and housebuilders is that we absorb the cost associated with designing, integrating, installing and operating our full fibre network.”

Old infrastructure Given that a large proportion of social housing estates in the UK are older developments, there is often the issue of attempting to navigate outdated infrastructure only to find that it simply does not support new technology. In order to connect residents to fast, reliable broadband, often the only option is to retrofit the foundations.

Rich commented: “Retrofitting a block is a bit more complex as you need to seek the permission from owners and tenants, however, it is certainly possible and perhaps less intrusive than you might think.”

“It is a very exciting time — not only in regards to accessing internet speeds barely seen in this country, but in making it easier, cheaper, faster for everyone — regardless of your housing tenure — to be a part of the transformation, and bridging the digital divide once and for all.”

Read the original article on LABM.

Fibre for developers:

Developers can play pivotal role in improving Scotland’s digital connectivity

IMPROVING digital infrastructure is key to the future success of the Scottish economy.

In bringing forward Aberdeen’s largest new “town” at Countesswells, we’ve installed ultrafast broadband. We believe that what we’ve done here should and could be replicated by other developers across Scotland and indeed should be a key consideration when planning new housing or mixed-use developments.

Residents and businesses at our new £800m community to the west of Aberdeen will have access to broadband that is 35 times faster than the UK average.

Countesswells is the first community in Scotland to have access to 1Gbps. This means that a 4k movie, which would typically take eight hours to download, will take just over 20 minutes.

Broadband connectivity is now a part of everyday life and one of the first things new home buyers ask for. Here, ultrafast digital connectivity was at the heart of designing the new community.

By installing the internal fibre network across the community, we are future-proofing to such an extent that households could have direct links with the services provided on site such as schools and health centres, enabling home consultations for example.

Businesses on-site will also benefit, whether it be to promote working from home or to attract businesses which rely on superfast connections to transfer huge amounts of data.

With our partner, Grain, we installed the best fibre network available along with the work on existing and new roads, which made it relatively cost-effective.

Countesswells signed an agreement for internet service provider Grain to provide hyperfast new build fibre to the site. SSE Enterprsie Telecomms was then appointed to support part of the roll-out with enough national fibre background. Grain’s fibre network is now ready and waiting the day residents and businesses move in, providing hyperfast broadband and a crystal clear fibre telephone connection.

Once fully set up at Countesswells, Grain could explore solutions for residents in other areas of Aberdeen to try to solve the broadband problems they are experiencing. Ultimately, our hyperfast broadband could be accessible right across the city.

Read the full article in The Herald Scotland here by Jim Fitzsimons, Director of special projects, Stewart Milne Group.

Also published at the Scottish Construction Now.

Fibre for developers:

Fibre vs ‘true’ fibre: what’s the difference and why should we care?

In recent years, new home buyers’ priorities have shifted towards the need for smarter, more functional homes. Homes with bright and spacious kitchens, modern bathrooms and intelligent storage solutions are all just the start of it. Now, more buyers want to be guaranteed that their new home runs as good as it looks.

What’s more, we’re seeing residents become very aware of what type of broadband connection they want – and how fast they want it – in order to be sure it can keep up with the constantly changing pace of their digital lives. New build fibre connections then are more vital than ever

The issue for developers is how to keep up with this change of pace, while continuing to offer the very best solution for potential buyers, without adding another layer of management and process to getting the job done. Being aware of what providers are offering is another persisting issue, too – knowing what the market wants and knowing for certain what is being delivered is key to customer satisfaction.

While we’re starting to see more providers offering fibre broadband – the fastest available internet connection in the UK – chances are ‘true’ fibre broadband may not be what is actually being delivered. Most existing homes in the UK are not fitted with the fibre cables necessary to receive hyperfast – or true fibre – broadband.

While many new homes benefit from fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connection, the vast majority of these broadband connections are delivered via old copper cables, which have a lower bandwidth and a limited capacity to deliver high speeds. A true fibre network includes a single – separate – connection to every living room, uncontended by other providers, capable of providing broadband speeds over 1,000Mbs per second. That’s 35 times faster than the current UK average.

Why does this matter? In short, it means homebuyers will simply be unable to access the quality and speeds promised. While FTTP broadband is fast – it’s not true fibre fast.

As more people start to adopt smart devices and technologies to create the ultimate connected home, the demand – or need – for hyperfast broadband will continue to grow. By installing a true fibre connection to every home during the development process, housebuilders can get ahead of the game by offering residents the hyperfast broadband connection they want and need – now, and well into the future.

This is an extract from Building Construction Design. Read the full article here.

Fibre for developers:

Grain has confirmed participation at MIPIM UK. Meet us there.

Arguably the largest housing conference in Europe, MIPIM has become a synonym for quality, networking and innovation in the real estate sector.

On 18 and 19 October 2017 MIPIM UK invites anyone who is anyone in the business to join the event at London Olympia to exchange views on the current state of the housing market, make predictions how the market will look like after Brexit and discuss other pressing issues on the housing crisis, innovations, building process, planning and more.

If you would like to meet us there, send us a message on, and we can discuss our new build fibre services.

Fibre for developers:

Grain joins HBF Utilities Conference 2017. Meet us there.

Grain has decided to join HBF Utilities Conference 2017, one of the more niche events this year taking place on 27 September. The conference will focus on the 3 main utilities as well as highlight the fourth one, rapidly joining as a standard in house building – broadband.

This event looks into water, gas, electricity, and most recently broadband and is attended by the leading names in the industry discussing innovations in the building process, new regulations and the economic impact on the housing market.

We’d love to meet you there to discuss our new build fibre services.

Please get in touch on

Fibre for developers:

Story Homes connects with UK’s fastest fibre broadband network

Grain is set to deliver the country’s fastest broadband network to Strawberry Grange – Story Homes’ exclusive development in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

The agreement will see UK-owned Grain install true new build fibre broadband to Phase 1 of the development – 96 new homes across the new community, building to 320 by the end of Phase 3.

The announcement comes just weeks after the hyperfast broadband company secured an exclusive agreement with Countesswells in Scotland.

Grain Managing Director Rich Robinson said the agreement was the result of a long working relationship between Story Homes and Grain’s founding partners.

“Grain offers broadband speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second – 35 times faster than the UK average – which is almost unheard of in rural communities,” he said.

“We have known the team at Story Homes a long time now, most recently working with them on the Crindledyke Farm site in Carlisle, so to be able to take this up a level to deliver the UK’s fastest broadband to the exclusive Strawberry Grange community in Cockermouth is really exciting.”

“We will be working closely with Story Homes to potentially look at delivering the same hyperfast fibre broadband offer to each and every new home they build.”

Strawberry Grange is an exclusive development of three, four and five-bedroom properties in Cockermouth, Cumbria.

Find out more:

Fibre for developers:

Grain secures exclusive agreement with Sky

Grain has secured an exclusive deal with Sky, significantly bolstering the company’s market positioning with a range of new entertainment packages.

The agreement, confirmed on Friday 17 March, will see the UK’s most advanced fibre broadband company deliver a complete solution by bundling Sky’s latest entertainment packages into the mix.

Grain Managing Director Rich Robinson said the agreement enables Grain to compete directly against major players with not only the fastest broadband but the best entertainment package.

“We are thrilled to announce this exclusive agreement with Sky, firmly placing us up with all the major players in the market with a new – extremely competitive – offer to both residents and developers,” he said.

Grain delivers broadband speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second – 35 times faster than the UK average. The new agreement will allow Grain customers to receive the Box Sets Bundle Sky TV Subscription with 'next generation' 1TB Sky Q box for just £25.

At present we have made this available at our larger sites but we are working hard to make this offer available at all our communities. Grains new build fibre offer is now significantly boosted.

Find out more:

Fibre for developers:

Countesswells first town in Scotland to get ‘hyperfast’ fibre broadband

One of Scotland’s newest towns, Countesswells, is to be the first in Scotland to access the UK’s fastest and most advanced fibre broadband, it was announced today.

Grain hyperfast broadband is set to offer the Aberdeen town broadband speeds of well over 1,000 megabits per second (Mb) – 35 times faster than the UK average.

Grain was appointed by Countesswells Development Limited (CDL) – the company behind the new £800million community at Countesswells – to provide each of the 3,000 new homes with the latest in new build fibre broadband technology.

Grain Managing Director Rich Robinson said Grain hyperfast broadband was one of the few UK networks to deliver a ‘true fibre’ connection today.

“We design, build, install, operate and maintain a brand new – true fibre – community network in every development we work in,” he said.

“A ‘true’ fibre network installs a direct path from the internet to the router in each living room – in other words, the connection is yours and yours only, with absolutely no congestion at peak times.”

“We are thrilled to be able to offer new Countesswell’s residents access to the country’s latest and most advanced broadband technology, and hope to offer a solution for residents at Kingswells and other surrounding areas down the track,” he said.

“Ultimately, Grain hyperfast broadband could be accessible right across Aberdeen – making it the country’s best connected city.”

Opportunity North East Chief Executive Jennifer Craw welcomed the news, saying:

“Improving digital infrastructure is key to the future success of our region’s economy…. Ultrafast connectivity can be harnessed to grow existing businesses; attract further investment; create new businesses; and enhance the area’s attractiveness as a place to live and work,” she said.

Grain’s fibre installation has begun across the development so Countesswells residents can look forward to having hyperfast broadband connected, ready and waiting the day they move in.

Find out more:

Fibre for developers:

How do I get my Free trial?

Who is it for?

If you move into a home with Grain Hyperfast Broadband you should be eligible for our free trial.

You will know if your home has Grain Hyperfast Broadband if there is a Grain pre-installed equipment in your home. Usually located in an under stairs cupboard or by the main TV point.

What do I get with the free trial?

The free trial gives you the opportunity to try out the Grain Hyperfast Broadband without a contract.

It includes:

  • 300Mb download speed
  • 300Mb upload speed
  • Unlimited data

(Please note your Ethernet ports are not activated during the free trial - If you would like to activate these ports you will need to sign up to one of our Packages)

How do I access the free trial?

The process is quite simple, we have created a form for you to complete, which will automatically send you a password to get online.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Incorrect Password?

If you're having troubles connecting to your Wi-Fi network...

As a first port of call check you have the right password.

Search "Welcome to Grain" in your emails, you should have an email from us providing you with the details of your password.

Please note it IS case sensitive.

If you still can't find it or it isn't working, please get in touch and we can help.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

How to activate my Ethernet ports

The Grain router is equipped with 4 Gigabit capable Ethernet ports.

Please note - During the Free Trial these ports are NOT enabled.

Should you wish to enable these ports you will need to take one of the Grain Packages.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Sky Q Entertainment

We deliver Sky Q Entertainment to some of the communities connected with Grain.

This means you don’t require a dish on your home. Because the service is delivered over our fibre.

You will need to get in touch with our team to take you through the process of getting connected.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Freeview Entertainment

We deliver Freeview Entertainment to some of the communities connected with Grain.

This means you don’t require a dish on your home. Because the service is delivered over our fibre.

You will need to get in touch with our team to take you through the process of getting connected.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Sky and Freeview Troubleshooting

Beside your router there should be a box known as a GTU.

If the light is Green continuously, it is receiving a good signal.

  • Any issues are likely to be within the house.

If the light is flashing there could be an issue with the signal.

  1. Turn the power off for 5 minutes (on the GTU and your Sky Box) then back on.
  2. If the problem persists you will need to get in touch.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Broadband Troubleshooting

Broadband is the connection from the internet to the router in your home, our point to point full fibre network makes it fairly easy to diagnose issues between your router and the internet.

Are you getting any connection at all?

If yes, skip to Step 3

If no, let's work one by one through the lights to see what's wrong. (We are assuming you are using your mobile data or a neighbour's connection to get on this website)

Step 1) Check if the Power Light Is On: (follow this link to find the Power Light on your router)

This is the left-hand light on the router, if it’s shining green then skip to Step 2, if not…

a) Check the power cable into the router is secure and its turned on at the wall socket.

b) If it still isn’t shining try another socket you know works.

c) If you have done this and it still doesn’t light up then there may be an issue with the router. Why not raise a ticket with our support team on the form at the end of the page or call on 0330 223 2266.

Step 2) Check if the Connection Light is on: (follow this link to find the Connection Light on your router)

This is the second from left light, if it’s shining green then skip to Step 3, if it isn’t then also check the router is firmly clicked into the wall plate, look for any damaged cables into the router.

At this point if the light is still off, it’s probably worth giving us a call on 0330 223 2266 or raising a ticket using the Support form at the bottom of the page.

Step 3) The router is getting connection but you're not.

At this point we need to work out if it is a broadband service issue or it is an in-home wireless issue. To do that we need to run out a cabled SPEED TEST.

See here for how to run a speed test

Making the most of your Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi is the wireless signal distributed within your home from the router.

Rather than us telling you about how to make the most out of your Wi-Fi, we thought it best to present you with OFCOM's advice. Follow this link:

Simple Fixes:

  • Connect devices, TVs and games consoles via an Ethernet cable
  • Use Wi-Fi Calling where possible
  • For best wireless performance stay close to the router
  • Select the appropriate Wi-Fi Channel (see FAQs for help)

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

What is my data limit?

Good News - We don't do data limits.

So fill your boots with as much content as you like!

Which Wi-Fi Channel Should I Connect To?

Your Grain router may have two Wi-Fi Channels:

"Grain-Surname" best for:

  • Greater Range - reaching areas at home further from the router.
  • Older Devices - best for older devices with the earlier Wi-Fi tech.

Please note the technology that allows this to provide greater range does mean it reduces the data speed.


"Grain-Surname-5GHz" best for:

  • Greater Speed - providing a more stable high speed connection.
  • Newer Devices - best on newer devices, close to the router.

Note that the technology delivering greater speeds does mean this has a limited range.


Close to the router -> select the "Grain-Surname-5GHz" option.

When further away -> select the "Grain-Surname" option.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Range Extender Installation Guide
  • Power up Wi-Fi Range Extender, near the Router and wait until the light starts flashing yellow.
  • Connect the Extender up to the Router using a Ethernet cable (There should be one supplied with Extender).
  • Once connected keep an eye on router and the Extender. The routers WiFi light should flash Green, Amber and Red and light on the Extender should flash white. When these lights start flashing it means that the Extender is copying the Configuration from router. Leave both router and the Extender wired in and powered up and wait for the lights to go solid again.
  • When the Extender is finished its configuration the light will go Solid White, disconnect the Extender from Ethernet cable and make sure the light goes Solid White again (or Blue). This is to confirm that the Extender can connect to the router via WiFi.
  • Move the Extender to desired location, allow a few minutes for it to power up and check to make sure light is solid white (or Blue) and Your devices are able to connect to the Extender and get internet. If the light doesn’t go solid after 5 minutes, try rebooting both the router and the Extender.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

What is VoIP Technology?

Voice Over IP is a telephone service which works directly over your internet connection. It uses the magic of your broadband to allow you to only have a phone line if needed. You still have a tradition telephone number, but the calls are made and received over the internet.

How do I get a Landline from Grain?

We provide voice over our Hyperfast Broadband Infrastructure.

Anytime UK calls for all packages from £6 per month.

There is no need to sign up to this straight away but if you would like to add it to your account get in touch with our team.

For more info please contact our team:

Register your interest: LINK

Phone: 0330 223 2266

Do I need to pay line rental?

Good News - because we dont use Openreach infrastructure, you do not need to pay line rental.

Can I keep my existing phone number?

Yes, we can normally port a number to our network, however, you need your existing provider account to be active and also be a Grain customer.
Don’t worry about any paperwork, our team is on hand to arrange the number port but please note it can take up to 14 days for use to receive the number so please book a number port early to avoid disappointment.
Once we have received the number from your previous provider you are then able to cancel the account with them.

Porting checklist

– Active account with your current service provider
– Active account with Grain
– Porting request has been submitted to Grain

How many handsets can I use?

You can connect only one base unit to your router but if you own a telephone with multiple handsets as part of a package then these talk to each other once the main unit is corrected.

Which calling features are available?

Call forwarding –you can forward calls to another number such as your mobile if you are expecting an urgent call but have to leave home.

Caller display – find out who is calling you. You will need to have a hand set which has a display screen. Depending on your handset you may be able to display the name of the person calling you.

Voicemail – not only can you receive voicemails to your home phone but unlike many other providers Grain is able to email you a copy of the recording, allowing you to access voicemails on the move!

International calls

With a number of free applications available to make Free International voice and video calls, we came to the conclusion we can't compete with FREE.

So here is a list of ways to make FREE international calls...

The good news is that your Hyperfast Connection will make these even better.


You can make and receive voice or video calls plus send SMS messages for free to anybody else with the app.

Even better, WhatsApp messages these are highly encrypted to keep your conversations private.

WhatsApp is available from the Android and the Apple app stores.


If you’re connecting to another Apple user, you can use the built-in FaceTime app.

FaceTime only works between two Apple devices.

Facetime is a pre-installed app on iPhones and available for download from Apples app store for all Apple computers.


Skype is a free app for Android, Apple, and Windows phones and computers.

You can voice call or video call to anybody else with the skype app for free Skype can be downloaded by either using the Android or the Apple store or by visiting Skype.

Paid For Service

If you still want to have a paid for service for making international calls, you can get a contract with providers of VOIP services such as SureVOIP or Vonage who will be able to offer this service to you direct.

Other Apps are available, we have just listed the most well known and trusted.

Getting your phone connected?

Step 1: Sign Up - If you have decided to take one of our phone packages, you will be able to connect your normal phone to our network. Speak to our team who can set your line up. (Remember - not all our packages come with a phone line)

Step 2: Registration - Once registered you will receive an email saying your phone number is ready. Note it may take up to 2 working days for this to register.

Step 3: Getting Connected - You simply need to connect the phone directly into the following slot in the bottom of your router:

This may require an adaptor like the one below...

There should be one of these already attached to your router but get in touch if you need another.

Note - We always recommend connecting your phone to the router initially to test it works. This avoids the possibility of faulty cabling throughout your home.

Once tested you can use the sockets throughout your home, but you MUST ensure that these are connected back to the correct slots in the router. This may require connecting a cable from the router to a wall socket to ensure the rest of the sockets are live.

For more info please contact our team:

Support Form: LINK


Phone: 0330 223 2266

What if my other sockets are not working?

If you have ensured you have connected the media plate back to the router and have no dial tone in the other sockets around your home, this would suggest there is a possible fault with internal wiring. Grain do not install your internal wiring so would advise speaking to your property developer (if it’s a new build home) of housing association (if it’s a housing association home).

How do I access my voicemail?

If you are on a call when someone else tries to call you, or you do not answer your phone within a set time, the caller will be prompted to leave a voicemail.

If your voicemail is set up with your email address, the message will be emailed to you. You can also use your phone and access your voicemail by dialling *97. You will then be prompted to enter your PIN number, followed by #. You will be emailed with your pin and telephone number when your phone package is set up

What if my phone won't dial out?

Remember, unlike old style phonelines you need to dial the full number including the area code. Please check that the number you are trying to call is allowed with your chosen package.

As your phone works by using your broadband if you experience a power cut or a lost of internet service your phone will not work so we always recommend having a back up for emergencies (for example a mobile phone).

If you are still having issues with your phone, make sure you have installed you phone correctly into your router and try restarting your router by turning the power off for one minute, and back on again. If this does not resolve the issue, please get in touch with our team.

What if I am having an issue receiving calls?

Please ensure you have followed the correct steps to connect your phone. When receiving incoming calls, ensure that the person calling is using the full area code, even for local callers. If you have ensured the above and completed a test call yourself, please take a note of the number ringing (i.e. your mobile number) and the time of the call so our team can investigate further.

Can a VPN impact my speeds?

When using a VPN (Virtual Private Network) you are testing the speeds of the VPN connection not your internet connection. For accurate speed test results, make sure you switch off your VPN.

Can the frequency impact my speeds?

Your router has two frequencies, a 2.4 GHz band and a 5 GHz band. 2.4GHz provides range but not speed, and 5GHz provides speed but not range. Your Wi-Fi connection on a particular frequency band can also be faster or slower because of interference from other devices. Be aware of other devices in your home which may be using the same frequencies. Try to use the 5GHz if you can, as most modern devices will support this. Remember, the more devices you have connected, the more likely it is to slow the speed down.

Can the weather impact my speeds?

Believe it or not, the weather can also have an impact from time to time. If it’s extremely poor weather, such as a thunderstorm, you may see some change in your speeds.

Can certain devices impact my speeds?

Old devices can slow down performance so ensure your devices are up to date and protected from viruses. We also find devices like wifi printers cause a lot of issues. For the most reliable speed test, remove all of your devices to get a true speed to the router. Connect them up again one by one to check which ones are the culprits for eating your data

Will my speed be affected at peak times?

Please bear in mind that the service you are trying to access may have peak times. So for example, accessing your employers network or streaming may have peak times which may slow you down slightly. If you have concerns about your speeds, run a speed test at various times of the day. This gives us an understanding of when you may be receiving poor speeds to help us diagnose the issue.

Why might my speeds vary throughout the day?

Your speeds can vary for a number of reasons. You may have multiple devices operating in your home. Even those Alexa’s which are at the back of your mind are using an amount of data at all times. You may also have other users in your home who are using data. The speeds are to your router and then shared out amongst your devices, so if you have a lot of devices, such as gaming devices. 4K TV’s or smart home doorbells, they are all using your data.

Why are my speeds not reaching wifi devices?

When it comes to wifi and speeds, there are to many variables to give you an accurate reading. For example, some devices have a cap on the speed they can actually see. Typically you would see a maximum of 300Mbs on Wi-Fi (depending on your package). If you are trying a speed test on a wifi device, bear in mind the size of your home, the build of the walls and the distance to your router or Wi-Fi booster. Larger homes, or those using lots of devices, smart home technology or 4K viewing, will likely require the purchase of Wi-Fi boosters to help performance and coverage.

Am I on the correct speed package?

Depending on how many people ae in your home, using the broadband, how many devices you use, and your dependency on wifi, you might wish to consider a different package with us. Please speak to a member of our sales team who can advise you on the best package for you.

What if I am not getting the speeds I expect?

If you have checked all of the possible culprits (devices, frequency, users in your home, and have done a cable speed test, please send us the results using the form below, including a screenshot of the results page. We may call you to go through the steps you have taken to allow us to rule things out. If you send over a wifi speed test, we will ask you to submit another which has been performed using an ethernet cable.

How can I check the speeds I am receiving?

The speeds we provide are to your router, and these are then shared out amongst your devices. The only way to get an accurate speed test is to:

1. Turn off all the devices using the broadband in your home

  • Remember every phone, TV, smart home device etc. These are constantly streaming data, so a speed test isn’t going to give you an accurate result if these are still whirring in the background

2. Use an Ethernet cable to directly connect a computer into one of the sockets in the bottom of the router (if you are raising a concern about your speeds with Grain, we can only accept wired speed tests)

3. Go to and choose the Manchester – Grain Connect server, press go and let it do its thing for a few minutes. You will then be presented wit

Find out more about performing a speed test here.

Moving Out of Your Grain Home

Not to worry just get in touch with our team and we can take you through the next steps. If you are moving to a home which Grain can service, we can discuss how to get you set up and installed. If you are moving to a new home which Grain can't service, we can walk through the cancellation process with you. We request that you let us know 30 days prior to you move so that we have time to talk through this with you. We ask that during this time you do not turn off your Grain equipment as we remotely access the router to complete the cancellation process.

Moving Into a Grain Home

Great news we look forward to having you on board.

For information about the packages we provide follow this link:

Click Here

For information about our free trial follow this link:

How do I cancel my contract?

We are sorry to hear you are thinking of leaving us.

If you wish to cancel your contract during its term, a cancelation fee is payable, as per our terms and conditions. This cancelation fee is £15 per month remaining on your contract. You may also be liable for some other costs at this point, if you have outstanding payments for example.

You will be asked to give 30 days notice of your intention to cancel and we will talk you through the cancellation process to help us understand why you are leaving us. We will then email you with any outstanding amount due on the account and advise you of when this payment is due.

We also request that all Grain equipment in left turned on as we will need to access the router remotely. Once you leave us, you may be asked to return any equipment which was provided as part of your package.

Can I change my billing date?

We have two billing date options; 1st or 14th of the month.

You can choose which date you’d like your direct debit collected when you first sign up.

If you wish to change the date of your collection, please contact our team below.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Will the price package I signed up for change?

No. The price for the contract you have signed up for is guaranteed for the duration of the current contract.

How can I pay my bill?

Usually we only accept payments via direct debit.

For any outstanding charges, you can pay by card but charges may apply.

For more info please contact our team:

Support Form: LINK


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Why was I charged twice in the first month?

All monthly payments for your Grain service are billed in advance, as per the T&Cs

When you complete your direct debit details, confirming your subscription with Grain, we will collect the first month's payment ("period one") within 3 working days.

The second payment will be collected within 30 days to align with your chosen payment date. This will relate to "period two". And so on...

The following timeline examples may help to clarify:

Most importantly for an 18 month contract we will only collect 18 payments.

For more info please contact our team:

Support Form: LINK


Phone: 0330 223 2266

What if I can't pay my bill?

If your direct debit fails for any reason, our system automatically sets up another transaction in three working days. If we still cannot take a payment from you, we will call you to discuss next steps.

If you are having issues paying your bill for any other reason, please get in touch.

For more info please contact our team:

Online Support Form: CLICK HERE


Phone: 0330 223 2266

Will my new build home be installed before I move in?

If you are moving into a new build home which has Grain fibre, and you are the first occupant, our installations are normally completed prior to you moving into your new home. This means that you are able to start using our service from day one.

Our engineers will install the router in the approved location on the home design plans and make sure it is set up and ready for you to activate your free trial.

It helps if you can get in touch with us as soon as possible after purchasing the home so that we can discuss your requirements and ensure we know the date you will be moving in.

How will you install my home if I already live in it?

We are working hard to connect up homes across the UK. As soon as we are in your area, we will let you know. Once you have signed up to one of our great value speedy packages we will contact you to advise when an engineer can attend to complete the install.

We are expanding fast so will be covering larger areas previously only serviced by other providers, or not at all. If you have received contact from Grain to inform you we are coming soon, please contact our team on 0330 223 2266 to sign up.

Do I need to pay for installation?

Good news! Standard installations are usually free of charge for all new Grain customers. this includes the router which is also completely free.

What do I need to know about installation appointments?

We carry out installations from Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm. The appointment will last around two hours and we will tidy up after the work is completed. Our fibre equipment will be surface mounted to cover the cable entry point with the router being approximately 12x6x2. Once the work is completed our engineers will check the service is connected to one device of your choice.

How long does it take to activate my service?

Fantastic News! Once our service and router is installed, the process to switch on your package happens right away.

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