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Cityfibre to Build 50km Ultrafast Fibre Optic Network in Southend-on-Sea

Thursday, March 17th, 2016 (9:23 am) - Score 1,223

Fibre optic builder Cityfibre has today won a new 10-year and £3.24 million contract to build a new 50km long Dark Fibre network in Southend-on-Sea (Essex, England), which will provide ultrafast broadband and data services to 120 key public sector sites and local businesses.

The deal, which has today been inked with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, will enable the local authority to upgrade their existing connectivity to local schools, colleges and council offices.

At present many of the council’s existing sites are said to be served by BTOpenreach’s legacy copper wire based connections, which Cityfibre calls “out-dated“.

Greg Mesch, CEO of Cityfibre, said:

We’re delighted to add Southend to the growing ranks of Gigabit City projects, further endorsing our belief that significant demand exists for our services across the UK. Southend demonstrates many of the key indicators of success. It has a forward thinking Council with an ambitious digital strategy and the appetite to become a leading example of a smart city, while its business community is growing and is increasingly demanding best-in-breed connectivity options.”

Cityfibre added that it also expects the new network to help provide capacity for local mobile masts and it will eventually be offered to support the towns 6,000 businesses too, which are likely to benefit from its Gigabit (1Gbps+) capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) lines.

The developer also says that, “ultimately the network can provide a backbone for Fibre-to-the-Home deployment,” although so far their only FTTH deployments in York and Bournemouth have produced mixed results (i.e. it’s tough to break into a market where rival hybrid-fibre services already exist from Virgin Media and BT).

However the York deployment is still somewhat experimental and has yet to achieve its original Phase One goal of c.20,000 premises passed, let alone cover the whole city. Generally Cityfibre’s strength remains in the field of connecting public sector and business sites, although they do at least have an excellent base for building out a serious national FTTH network if so desired.

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