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Cityfibre Confirm Start of 1Gbps FTTH Broadband Build in Aberdeen

Tuesday, July 24th, 2018 (3:06 pm) - Score 3,141

Cityfibre has named the first streets in Aberdeen (Scotland) to benefit from their £40m (private investment) deployment of a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network with UK ISP Vodafone, which has just this week officially entered the construction phase.

The city-wide Aberdeen project was first unveiled in February 2018 (here) and forms part of a wider £500m deployment (here), which will aim to cover a “minimum” of 1 million homes in up to 12 of Cityfibre’s existing cities or towns (this is expected to be “largely complete” by 2021). After that there’s also the potential to extend up to 5 million UK homes by 2025, which would require significantly more investment.

So far both operators have confirmed that Aberdeen, Peterborough, Edinburgh, Coventry, Huddersfield, Milton Keynes and Stirling will be among the first UK cities to benefit (accounting for about 500,000 premises and £315m of the total planned investment). Work is already underway in some of the other chosen cities too (e.g. Milton Keynes and Peterborough).

At present Cityfibre already have a Dark Fibre network in Aberdeen, which is being extended to over 100km in length (i.e. bringing the total public sector sites served to 166). This will make an ideal starting point for the new FTTH extension to local residents.

Neil Blagden, Vodafone UK’s COO, said:

“Residents of Aberdeen will no longer need to settle for slow, unreliable broadband. We aim to start offering our Vodafone Gigafast Broadband service from early next year once the build phase is well underway.

It will give home broadband speeds of around 900Mbps – about 20 times the current UK average – and will allow customers to surf the Internet, download HD films, play games online and upload videos at the same time, using multiple devices, without interruption.”

Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s Local City Development Manager, said:

“We’re at a really exciting stage of our fibre-to-the-premises roll out in Aberdeen as the build work gets underway. This investment comes at a key time for the city. Aberdeen rightly has a global reputation as a leading energy centre, but the recent downturn highlighted the urgent need for diversification. In this increasingly digital world, full fibre infrastructure beneath our streets will play a critical role in underpinning this process and delivering the city’s ambitions.

Full fibre will allow the city to be more innovative and more productive, while attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy for generations to come. And it won’t just improve business at home – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”

The local civil engineering work is being delivered by contractor GCU Ltd on Cityfibre’s behalf, starting with streets in Kincorth and Cummings Park, with Smithfield following soon after. One of our readers has also noted to us that it’s possible to track the local rollout via the Scottish Road Works commissioner website (check the area around Northfield): https://www.roadworksscotland.org .

The FTTH rollout is also expected to begin in two other Scottish cities – Edinburgh and Stirling – sometime later in 2018. Meanwhile Vodafone hope to launch their related Gigafast Broadband product to customers by early 2019, although the first trials have already begun in Milton Keynes with 50 homes (here). Locals can pre-register their interest in the service here: https://www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast .

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Stephen says:

    This is great news for Aberdeen, to be included at the start of the rollout as opposed to the end which is where we normally are.
    I think that Openreach must be trying to compete, there are almost 40 new applications in for the installation of new fibre cabinets around the city, several of them in these locations mentioned for the new rollout.

  2. Oggy says:

    Interesting that they are starting this off in the poorer parts of the city.

    Are they starting there as they think they’d have more issues in the likes of Rubislaw with folk complaining about street furniture?

    Get it in Kincorth, folk there get ultrafast and then those in the posh streets realise what they are missing and want a bit of the action?

    1. Joe says:

      Its perfectly possible. ‘hastle’ is certainly one of the issues that influences rollout locations.

    2. Stephen says:

      Yeah Kincorth & Northfeild are not areas you would normally associate with a high amount of startup businesses! But they were the first parts of Aberdeen to receive FTTC and have had it for many years, Whereas the likes of Belidside, Westhill have only had it for a year or 2. So maybe the thinking is that the people who have had FTTC for a long time will be more likely to upgrade to full fibre. Who knows.

  3. Mark says:

    I am pretty sure those areas are logically first due to infostructure, locality to exchanges and other logistical roll-out factors, with further extended areas being later, after all everything has to be interconnected at some point.
    Cheers

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