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Cityfibre Start Laying Gigabit Fibre Optic Cable in West Sussex UK

Thursday, September 20th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 2,028
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Within the next week Cityfibre will finally begin the deployment of a new 1Gbps+ fibre optic broadband and Ethernet network in West Sussex, which aims to connect 152 council sites in Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Chichester, Crawley, Haywards Heath, Horsham, Littlehampton, Shoreham and Worthing.

The project, which was only confirmed a few months ago and is predicted to have a total lifetime value of £52.7m (here), is being partly funded by a slice of the UK Government’s new £190 million Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) challenge fund.

Cityfibre has also previously revealed that two ISPs – Exa Networks and JSPC Computer Services – have already been approved to provide both education and business connectivity services over the new Dark Fibre network.

According to the latest update, contractors working for Cityfibre are now about to begin laying the new cable in roads and footpaths around the Crawley and Chichester areas, with the rest due to follow “soon after” (exact routes are still being finalised).

A West Sussex County Council Spokesperson said:

“In time, we hope that other public services such as schools, NHS buildings and emergency services will also benefit by choosing to invest in and grow the full-fibre network.

The cable-laying work will be carried out as quickly as possible and every effort is being made to try to keep disruption to a minimum. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The council added that “every effort” is being made to “minimise disruption and avoid excavating in roads and footpaths which have only recently been re-laid“, but the authority also warns that this will be “unavoidable in some areas.”

Deployments like this could in the future help to form the backbone of a new Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network for connecting local residential properties to Gigabit class broadband services. This is exactly what Cityfibre and Vodafone have been doing in several other UK cities, although West Sussex has some catching up to do first.

NOTE: West Sussex is already extremely well covered by Openreach’s (BT) slower hybrid fibre FTTC (VDSL2) network, as well as a little ultrafast cable from Virgin Media.

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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.
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7 Responses
  1. Avatar Meadmodj

    I wrote to the then secretary of state Matt Hancock regarding this and got the usual ministerial reply. In particularly they did not answer my question regarding their own criteria of “LFFN funding cannot be used to substitute other sources of funding which would otherwise have been used to fund projects and cannot be used in locations where the market is already building or planning to build full fibre connections”.
    I can list a number of towns and communities in West Sussex who need assistance with fibre investment which have had their LA facilities closed and therefore local businesses and communities will not benefit from this investment. I can also think of other areas of the UK which need more infrastructure for business.
    I have no issue with West Sussex County Council competitively tendering their IT network but in my view this is the government blatantly encouraging overbuild and subsidising areas that already have availability of ultrafast competition which is surely wrong when money is tight.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Ultrafast and availability of full fibre services

    • Avatar Bandana

      It is certainly puzzling why tax dollars should subsidise a fibre build in Crawley

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Yes in addition most of the main locations have new “neighbourhoods” (3 or more thousand homes each) in progress which will by default increase the backhaul Fibre capacity of these towns. If there should be a focus in West Sussex at all it should be the smaller towns with industrial estates or trading units many of which are still on ADSL.
      Big boys providing backhaul networks, and I include including Cityfibre in that, shouldn’t be subsidised and broadband distribution overbuild should be avoided until we have made more progress in the UK. Any tender that includes a subsidy to only some of the parties will always remain questionable.
      In addition there are a number of small companies in the local area that resell Full Fibre to businesses. So West Sussex County Council should also be supporting local business by ensuring they have wholesale access to any subsidised network.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      There are estimated to be in excess 44,000 new dwellings in West Sussex in the next 10 years or so. The majority of these will be FTTP. This should be enough Fibre stimulus without government subsidy.

  2. Avatar Philip Virgo

    Would that the majority of new build in West Sussex were to be FTTP. As yet, for reason that do not bear close examinations, the majority of new build is not. I agree the need to focus on smaller towns with industrial units and trading estates.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Even OR have switched to FTTP for new build For 30 houses or more it’s free. Other providers available. Correct not all developers are on board which is short sighted.

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