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CityFibre to Build City-Wide Ultrafast Fibre Optic Network in Edinburgh

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015 (10:03 am) - Score 1,270
fibre optic cable strands

Fibre optic infrastructure builder CityFibre has partnered up with local business ISP Commsworld to roll-out a new 150km long “ultra-fast” pure fibre optic broadband network in the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh. The huge project represents CityFibre’s largest “Gigabit City” investment and its second deployment in Scotland.

The roll-out is expected to mirror CityFibre’s other roll-outs in the smaller cities of Coventry, Peterborough, York and Aberdeen etc. by starting with a Phase One deployment of a 50km network in central Edinburgh and then expanding outwards in later phases. At completion some 7,000 businesses are expected to be put within reach and existing customers of Commsworld will be the first to benefit.

The operators Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTB) network usually promotes broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps (1Gbps), although today’s press release talks about delivering “gigabit speeds, up to 100 times faster than the UK’s average” (if we assume Ofcom’s current average of 22.8Mbps then that’s 2,280Mbps). Sadly the press release doesn’t specify what average they used.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

CityFibre has gathered considerable pace in the last 12 months and we are delighted to be embarking on our biggest Gigabit City project yet, which underlines the scale of our ambition. With thriving financial, tech and media sectors, Edinburgh’s businesses are poised to take advantage of a digital head-start, providing them with a competitive advantage at home and abroad.

We are seeing huge demand for ultra-fast connectivity and as we continue this shift to service based economies, a modern digital infrastructure could not be more critical to a city’s success.

Commsworld is a perfect partner with which to transform Edinburgh’s digital landscape and we look forward to demonstrating the capabilities and contribution of next generation infrastructure to both the public and private sectors.”

John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister, added:

I am delighted to welcome CityFibre’s substantial investment in Edinburgh’s digital infrastructure. The future-proofed fibre infrastructure that will be delivered, alongside CityFibre’s recently announced investment in Aberdeen, will make a key contribution to our vision of Scotland having world class digital connectivity by 2020.

CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld, a respected and established Scottish digital business, will support the growth of Edinburgh’s thriving business community as well as other bandwidth hungry organisations in the city. Over time, this future-proof infrastructure can support the roll-out of ultra-fast Fibre to the Premises services for residential customers as well as 4G and 5G services.

As Scotland’s largest Gigabit City, Edinburgh will have a unique selling point as one of the foremost digitally connected locations anywhere in Europe and we are delighted to see CityFibre continue its investment in Scotland.”

Apparently construction of the new network, which will be used by both businesses and potentially also public sector organisations, is set to begin during this summer 2015. The planning phase has already started and their work will follow the operators Well Planned City model.

As with CityFibre’s other deployments, the operator has also hinted that their network could eventually be extended to cater for residential homes via a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) service; this might be similar to the one they’re rolling out alongside Sky Broadband and TalkTalk in York.

Mind you it should be said that CityFibre’s FTTH style urban deployments usually come much later and haven’t been terribly successful in the test case of Bournemouth, which was partly due to the heavy competition from rival NGA broadband providers (e.g. Virgin Media’s cable and BT’s FTTC/P etc.). On the other hand some ISPs, such as Hyperoptic, have experienced more success, albeit by focusing on bigger apartment blocks.

By comparison breaking into the business sector is a lot easier because BT has often been accused of neglecting firms and forcing them to take more expensive leased lines, which CityFibre’s approach can undercut.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Jonus

    I see lots of great announcements from CityFibre but very little action- some may think these big bold statements are just to try and prop up their share price which had a 52 wk high at 84.00 and is down at 66.83 ans surprise surprise rebounded a little to 68.30 on this latest news.

    • Avatar DTMark

      There is something odd that I can’t quite reconcile. When a previous project is successful it is natural to try to repeat it.

      When it is demonstrably not, and not least because of attempts to compete with both the private sector and the State, you don’t usually seek and gain investment and then try to repeat that in what appear to be similar circumstances.

      There is certainly a market for providing businesses with the connectivity that BT has sought to ration in order to extort ridiculous amounts of money for basic services.

      But something doesn’t quite add up in my mind.

  2. Avatar frank

    Yes make another rollout where there already FTTP in some parts, Cable and FTTC.

    Really go to a slow spot (Isle of Dogs is pretty slow if I remember) or I guess that would cost too much money.

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