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Cityfibre Begin 1Gbps FTTP Home Broadband Build in Coventry UK

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018 (1:29 pm) - Score 1,821
cityfibre peterborough council fttp deployment

Fibre optic network builder Cityfibre has announced that they’ve begun construction of their new Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network in the city of Coventry, which alongside ISP partner Vodafone will aim to cover “almost every home” in the city by the end of 2021.

The new deployment was first announced back in April 2018 (here) and forms part of the operator’s £2.5bn investment to cover a “minimum” of 1 million UK homes in up to 12 of their existing cities and towns by the end of 2021, which will then rise to a total of 5 million premises across 37 cities and towns by the end of 2024 (here).

The deployment in Coventry will cost £60m and the first areas to benefit include Longford, Upper Stoke, Foleshill and Holbrook. Apparently the project will also “trial partial aerial deployment” (this usually means slinging fibre optic cables between overhead telegraph poles or similar), as well as more traditional civil engineering methods.

Coventry is the fourth “citywideFTTP project to get underway as part of the Cityfibre and Vodafone’s partnership. It is following in the footsteps of their existing build projects in Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Peterborough, which started earlier this year and are now “well on their way towards serving their first customers” (technically some have already gone live in Milton Keynes).

Cllr Richard Brown, Coventry City Council, said:

“We are all well aware of the importance of effective communications. People buying or renting a new home and new starter businesses will weigh up a list of factors when considering where to locate, and the quality of digital communications is crucial. This will benefit households and will further retain businesses in Coventry.”

Leigh Hunt, Cityfibre’s City Development Manager, said:

“We’re at a really exciting stage of our roll-out in Coventry as the build gets underway. This project comes at a key time for the city and the £60m investment from CityFibre will be transformational for residents and businesses alike. With the advent of ultrafast, full fibre broadband, residents of Coventry will be able to enjoy and take advantage of a range of possibilities.”

At present most of city already enjoys near universal coverage of slower “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) capable networks via FTTC (VDSL2) from Openreach (BT), including good access to Virgin Media’s 362Mbps capable HFC DOCSIS cable network.

On top of that Openreach has announced that they too plan a large deployment of FTTP technology in the city (here), which has already started in the Radford area. Aggressive commercial competition like this is par-for-the-course in urban areas and it will put pressure on Cityfibre’s alternative model.

On the other hand the extra choice will no doubt be very good for local consumers, but all of that overbuild could also cause lots of extra disruption from street works and will do little to help the overall UK coverage of FTTP services.

However Openreach’s top FTTP speeds are significantly more expensive than the Cityfibre based Gigafast Broadband product from Vodafone (our summary), which is clearly aiming to undercut. Mind you Vodafone’s prices aren’t actually all that surprising when you see what some FTTP providers are changing for 1-20Gbps in better developed fibre markets.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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3 Responses
  1. Meadmodj

    To sustain investment there has to be a ROI. Consumers transferring may stick to the cheapest 100Mbps service with only a small percentage going higher. This will squeeze their margins quite tight. The real test may be later when the first such contracts come up for renewal. OR FTTP prices will need to fall but the question is when and whether they will divert from national pricing or differentiate urban from rural.

  2. Granola

    £60m to cover a city that is already well covered, that could take a while to turn a profit.
    Meanwhile there are FTTP virgin (with a small “v”) areas that could be covered………

    • CarlT

      They are building in areas where they have existing networks. They clearly disagree regarding return on investment. Take up would probably be higher in some other places but build cost also much higher.

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