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First Homes in Coventry UK Connect to Vodafone Gigabit Broadband

Monday, March 4th, 2019 (7:37 am) - Score 7,750

Cityfibre has announced that the first homes on their new £60m and 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network in the West Midlands city of Coventry have now gone live via UK ISP partner Vodafone. The aim is to cover “almost every home” in the city by the end of 2021.

The Coventry project forms part of Cityfibre’s wider £2.5bn investment (details) to deploy their Gigabit capable “full fibre” broadband infrastructure to cover around 1 million premises in 10 UK cities by the end of 2021 (phase one – costing c.£500m), before rising to 5 million premises across 37 cities and towns by the end of 2024.

Work on the new digital infrastructure only began in November 2018 (here) and is based around a significant extension to the operator’s existing 180km Dark Fibre network in the city, which was initially launched in 2014 to serve public sector and business sites. The network is now being extended to local homes and the first ones have just gone live around Old Church Road and Gayer Street.

Apparently the next areas to benefit will be on Longford and Bell Green. The Gigafast Broadband packages from Vodafone currently cost from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service on an 18 month contract, including free installation (you also get a good wireless router), which rises to £48 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier.

Leigh Hunt, CityFibre’s Local City Development Manager, said:

“Coventry is among the first UK cities announced in our national rollout of full fibre broadband to five million UK homes and businesses. We’ve made huge progress and it is tremendous to see the first homes now reaping the benefits of full fibre.

This state-of-the-art digital connectivity will have a huge economic impact on the city, increasing productivity and innovation within businesses and allowing households to embrace smart tech while giving people the opportunity to work at home with ease.

Coventry City Council has been extremely supportive of the project, and really understand the benefits of excellent city-wide connectivity, so it was fantastic to meet with Councillor O’Boyle and Councillor Brown to give them a closer look at the progress which has been made so far.”

Richard Brown, Coventry City Councillor, said:

“A better and faster digital infrastructure will make a massive difference to local people and businesses. I’ve been really impressed with what I have seen, and CityFibre appear to be letting customers know why the improvement work is happening. This project is really positive for the city.”

Coventry joins Milton Keynes, Aberdeen and Peterborough as being among the first cities to start connecting consumers to the new FTTH network, although Cityfibre’s competitors aren’t standing still. Much of the city can already access Virgin Media’s soon to be 500Mbps+ capable DOCSIS (cable) network and Openreach are also targeting the city for their Gigabit FTTP roll-out (here).

However Cityfibre’s network is significantly cheaper for consumers than Openreach’s offering and Virgin Media won’t be able to match their Gigabit speeds until their DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade goes live (roll-out due to start sometime this year – here). Even then both Openreach and Virgin Media’s services are hobbled by significantly slower upload speeds, while Vodafone are offering symmetrical performance, although the gap may shrink with future upgrades (at least on the FTTP side).

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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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29 Responses
  1. owen wilson says:

    this makes me go wow
    side note, this looks really promising hopefully they roll higher speeds elsehwere

  2. Rob says:

    Real fibre unlike the fake Virgin “fibre”.

    1. alan says:

      And the fake BT fibre (aka FTTC) which is currently there which is going to be overbuilt by err something else they call fibre.

  3. A_Builder says:

    I do have to wonder why OR are bothering to overbuild if their FTTP product is so much more expensive than anyone else?

    The Alt Net pricing is quite even and quite competivitve for what is generally a good product. Be interesting to see how well some of the alt Net networks perform as they scale up.

    1. Matthew Williams says:

      If they didn’t they know they would a sizeable chunk of customers in the future to CityFibre and Virgin simple as that. Expect in future there will be 3 Main ISPs in country BT, Cityfibre and Virgin [Whoever buys them] better than we have now.

    2. Mike says:

      Doesn’t look good for Openreach in the long term, altnets on the rise and 5G on the horizon.

    3. AnotherTim says:

      Most of the altnets will go away within a few years – they are set up with the intention of being bought out by a bigger company as soon as possible, and in the longer term smaller ISPs aren’t commercially viable.

    4. alan says:

      Smaller altnets being brought by bigger organisations does not come into it. The tech will be there who owns it is irrelevant it is still competition.

    5. AnotherTim says:

      I still don’t think BT will be threatened. Even with Citifibre, VM, etc, they will still be the only option for a lot of properties. Not even altnets will build in my area, so it is BT based ADSL or 4G – and BT have EE to cover the 4G option.

    6. A_Builder says:


      I think BT’s market share will be dented.

      I agree that some of the Alt Nets will sell up: that is the way of a functional market.

      That being said FTTP is viewed as a very good investment by a lot of canny investors so it is possible that the investors may try and consolidate a few of the medium sized Alt Nets into a challenger.

    7. AnotherTim says:

      I’d agree that BT’s market share will fall, but I don’t think their profitability will. They are rolling out FTTP a lot faster than most altnets – they build more in a month than Gigaclear have built ever. FTTP may seem profitable now, but as more networks are built the price will be squeezed. Also a lot of people don’t need FTTP speeds, and BT can undercut FTTP with FTTC. To sell FTTP other companies will have to cut prices, and that cuts profits. Also BT have EE, which will probably be able to squeeze out altnets from a lot of the remaining rural areas as it is fast enough for most people but cheaper, and it can be improved much faster than FTTP can be built.
      Don’t get me wrong, I’d love FTTP but it won’t happen in my remaining working life, so like a lot of people I’ll use 4G – and that means Three or EE.

    8. Matthew Williams says:

      @AnotherTim Don’t mean in a bad way but if even Altnets won’t go your area it’s was never going be a competition area. BT makes it’s profits from Cities and Suburban areas not rural areas. Virgin and Vodafone are targeting the profitable BT areas.

    9. AnotherTim says:

      I don’t disagree that the most profitable areas are urban, but BT have had competition there for a long time – Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Sky, and all the other LLU ISPs. I think they are in a good position to compete in those areas, and they will also have the unpopular areas to themselves (as always). I believe they are the best placed of any company to do well in the changing phone/broadband environment.
      As I mentioned previously, while the newcomers will have FTTP in urban areas, BT will still have FTTC and Gfast to undercut them on price for the many customers that don’t need FTTP speed.

    10. Matthew Williams says:

      But they don’t that’s the issue as Vodafone call sell FTTC as well and already are cheaper than BT this is the issue that BT face because they are required to allow their rivals to resell FTTC. I can’t see the advantage that BT has at all to be honest yes they will keep Rural areas but not even sure that’s an advantage at all. If anything Vodafone has advantage once there FTTP rollout grows and don’t forget they can sell BT FTTP if they choose.

    11. AnotherTim says:

      Other companies can resell BT (well, Openreach) FTTC, but BT still get money for that, and don’t have the costs associated with directly supporting the end users. So if a user goes with BT for FTTC then BT make a profit, and if they go with a competitor BT make a smaller profit.

    12. alan says:

      “Not even altnets will build in my area, so it is BT based ADSL or 4G – and BT have EE to cover the 4G option.”

      Er that sounds to me like BT have not done any building in your area either. Besides are you not due to be done by gigaclear at some point?

    13. AnotherTim says:

      BT built FTTC to the centre of the village as part of the Fastershire BDUK Phase 1 rollout, and have subsequently upgraded the exchange to ADSL2+ for the rest of us still on EO lines.
      And yes, we are supposed to be included under the Fastershire Phase 2 project awarded to Gigaclear, which originally was supposed to be complete by end 2018. In the past 2 years they have not managed to connect a single property in my (large) Lot, and currently there is no published plan, no dates, no date for a plan to be published, and only one detectable build currently happening. As they build out from existing networks and I am 20 miles from the nearest Gigaclear network, if the rate of progress over the past 2 years continues it will take another 6 years to reach my locality. Personally I don’t believe it will ever happen, as there is no conceivable way they can suddenly speed up enough to complete the build in the time BDUK has left.

    14. AnotherTim says:

      Whoohoo! In the last hour Fastershire have provided an update on Gigaclear’s progress. Apparently they now have a plan, which Fastershire hope to make public via their postcode checker later this month. Also in the past 6 months they have finished connecting 3 new cabinets (still none in my Lot though).

    15. Mark Jackson says:

      Caveat to that Fastershire update is that the latest plan has not yet been approved. Still waiting to see if they give it the green light, although it’s sounding more optimistic.

    16. alan says:

      “BT built FTTC to the centre of the village as part of the Fastershire BDUK Phase 1 rollout, and have subsequently upgraded the exchange to ADSL2+ for the rest of us still on EO lines.”

      I think you will find the ADSL2+ upgrade at the exchange was more a matter of course rather than rolling out anything new to your area. The fact they did FTTC to the centre of the village and have not enabled your specific area (IE where you specifically live) with a FTTC upgrade speaks volumes and shows they have just as much (or rather as little) interest in enabling you with a a product as anyone else.

    17. AnotherTim says:

      @alan, actually the FTTC rollout by BT rollout was under Fastershire’s BDUK funding. BT planned to include several outlying areas, including mine, in the rollout, but were vetoed by Fastershire as some properties in those EO bundles wouldn’t have received the required 30Mbps to be eligible under Fastershire funding. So we got nothing instead as that was considered better.
      However, with the latest news it looks as if we may get FTTP in 2022.

  4. Daz says:

    Vodafone has to be the worst broadband going. The routers are absolutely rubbish. When you try to contact them, its near on impossible. Im stuck with my appalling bad broadband.

    1. Mike says:

      Why is it rubbish?

    2. Matthew says:

      Not saying that there ISP customer side doesn’t need work but there infrastructure is certainly going to be good.

    3. alan says:

      The router for the FTTP products via Voda/Citfibre are not the same as the FTTC routers you are complaining about. There is nothing wrong with their FTTP routers.

    4. Rahul says:

      Yeah just like TalkTalk may have a bad reputation overall. But the TalkTalk FTTP in York has a great reputation.

      FTTC and ADSL services are not the same. I think once an FTTP provider comes, I wouldn’t really care about the reputation of their ISP from the FTTC/ADSL perspective.

      Besides that you can buy a new router. I’m sure if FTTP/H comes to my home I’ll be happy to invest £100-£300 on a strong quality router should the supplied router cause me problems.

      It was like that with me on Tiscali in 2005 1Mbps Sagemcom F@ST modem was horrible causing restarts. But when I upgraded to a router to a Netgear one the problem was solved. The service will remain good once the router is replaced. I think people were complaining about the Hyperoptic router in the same way and once they invested in a new router their problems were solved.

  5. David Meadmore says:

    There are choppy waters ahead for all providers and a lot of unknowns. Ultrafast/Giga market share between two is difficult but between three is going to be very interesting. VM and BT may actually benefit if those with excessive upload practices all clog up Cityfibre. In addition VM and BT may abandon national pricing and how long can Vodafone sustain theirs?. While many of the new FTTP rollouts remain exclusive to a single ISP OR can remain buoyed by the combined advertising of Sky, BT, Plusnet, EE. BT and EE will also be offering hybrid fixed/mobile products and expect lots of 5G for the small percentage in urban that demand speed.

    Vodafone/Talktalk initial FTTP pricing will have an affect initially but OR has survived in VM areas so is FTTP really going to change that. Coventry will be very interesting.

    The real dark horse in my view is Hyperoptics. They have a fibre capacity to 40 new houses in an isolated rural village of Mid-Sussex offering 150Mbps symmetrical plus phone for £28/m (rising to £38) in parallel to OR FTTC. Now that is what I call a benchmark.

  6. Chris says:

    Cityfibre are less than 200 yards away from me in Northampton, so close and yet so far. As soon as CF sort it out for us home users I’m leaving Virgin and never going back.

  7. Catya says:

    As soon as Cityfbre make their internet available I’m very happy to leave Virgin, can’t wait

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