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Cityfibre 1Gbps FTTH for Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield and Stirling

Tuesday, April 24th, 2018 (8:15 am) - Score 2,280

The UK cities of Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield and Stirling have today been named as the next to be covered via Cityfibre and Vodafone’s joint deployment of a new Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH/P) broadband ISP network by the end of 2021.

At the end of last year both operators agreed a joint £500m deal to rollout FTTH ultrafast broadband (here). Phase One of this scheme – starting during H1 2018 (note: work has already started in Milton Keynes) – will seek to cover a “minimum” of 1 million homes in up to 12 of Cityfibre’s existing cities and towns, which according to Vodafone is expected to be “largely complete” by 2021.

After Phase One there’s also the “potential to extend” this network up to 5 million homes (approximately 50 towns and cities, representing 20% of the current UK broadband market) by 2025, although that would require even more funding and this may help to explain today’s related news of a £537.8m cash acquisition of Cityfibre by Bidco (here).

So far the partners have announced that Milton Keynes would be the first to benefit from this rollout at a cost of £40m, (here), which was followed by Aberdeen for another £40m (here) and Peterborough for at least £30m (here).

Today the above three have been joined by Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield and Stirling, which reflects a total of seven confirmed cities and over 500,000 premises passed (once completed). It also brings Cityfibre’s committed infrastructure investment in the project to at least £315m.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“Behind each city project announced today, lie concrete plans, advanced network designs, and the resources to mobilise construction. We also have a significant head-start, harnessing our existing, extensive duct infrastructure that is tailor-made for city-wide FTTP expansion. Our commitment, in partnership with Vodafone, is to totally transform each city in which we roll-out by bringing ubiquitous full fibre to everyone and we are well on our way”

Nick Jeffery, Vodafone UK CEO, said:

“I’m delighted to welcome everyone living in Coventry, Edinburgh, Huddersfield and Stirling to the full fibre club, with a broadband service like no other. After five months we are well on track with the joint Gigafast broadband programme that will help position the UK as a world leading digital centre.”

We should point out that most of cities already enjoy near universal coverage of slower “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) capable networks via FTTC (VDSL2) from Openreach (BT) and many also have good access to Virgin Media’s 350Mbps capable cable HFC DOCSIS network too. Such competition could make put pressure on take-up, although Vodafone will probably aim to undercut those via faster speeds and aggressive pricing.

Otherwise we are still awaiting some details on Vodafone’s first ISP packages and prices for homes. In the meantime locals can pre-register their interest in the service here: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast .

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Stephen says:

    Virgin have no presence in Aberdeen so that should help with takeup. There are still new fibre cabinets appearing around the city so it’s quite possible there are areas still without any kind of fibre. That should help even more!!

  2. Avatar Matthew Horspool says:

    Woo hoo! I have just registered my interest. Roll on full fibre!

    1. Avatar Mark says:

      I have done the same too, I had upgraded to Virgin’s new 350/20 package… but the upload speed is still something they need to address.

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