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Cityfibre Name Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster as Next Gigabit Cities

Tuesday, October 11th, 2016 (9:35 am) - Score 801

Fibre optic network developer Cityfibre has today confirmed that the South Yorkshire (England) cities and towns of Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster will be the next to benefit from their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP) style network.

The announcement is no surprise because all three cities, which will make for a combined fibre optic network of 110km, were acquired at the end of 2015 when Cityfibre splurged £90 million to gobble up KCOM’s network assets across the United Kingdom (here).

Similarly the operator has already announced that Bradford-based business ISP Exa Networks is to be its partner in the area (here). As usual the new network will be focused upon delivering Gigabit broadband services to local businesses and the public sector, but not homes as that would require significantly more investment and support from major ISPs.

Rob Hamlin, Commercial Director at CityFibre, said:

“We’re delighted to be expanding our partnership with Exa Networks to offer world-class digital infrastructure to Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham. Organisations large and small now require reliable, fast, low latency internet services to compete and succeed in an ever changing digital world.

We are opening up a new world class digital infrastructure in the region, which will provide internet services like never seen before. We look forward to our market launch and to connecting the first customers soon.”

Mark Cowgill, Co-Founder of Exa Networks, added:

“By using CityFibre’s pure fibre infrastructure we are able to offer customers in the Sheffield City Region a world class connectivity service. Having worked with CityFibre across the Leeds and Bradford network, we’re really looking forward to expanding our service offering across Yorkshire.

As a UK leader in providing internet services to the education sector, we understand the crucial importance of ultra-fast connectivity in our schools as well as our businesses and anticipate a huge demand for increased bandwidth in both the education and business communities of Sheffield.”

Elsewhere Cityfibre claims that Sheffield’s business community is being hampered because local firms “struggle with slow speeds of only 18.36Mbps on average” (stats taken from the ‘Fix Britain’s Internet Campaign’). However this is a little misleading because, A) average speedtests do not reflect the availability of faster connectivity and, B) the result was dominated by residential properties and yet Cityfibre’s network is only being aimed at business premises.

Many of the premises in the above cities are already covered by a mix of Leased Lines, ultrafast cable (DOCSIS) from Virgin Media and of course Openreach (BT’s) slower FTTC broadband network, although there’s clearly still a lot of room for improvement; especially in big parts of Sheffield and northern Doncaster.

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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.
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