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Cityfibre Start £30m Rollout of FTTH Broadband in Southend-on-Sea

Tuesday, July 30th, 2019 (11:00 am) - Score 3,012

Full fibre network builder Cityfibre has today announced that their £30m plan to rollout a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network to “nearly every home and business” in the town of Southend-on-Sea (Essex) – supported by UK ISP partner Vodafone – has finally begun the construction phase.

Cityfibre has hired civil engineering firm Intelligent Telecommunications Ltd. to do build and the first areas to benefit include the Eastwood Park and Progress Road industrial areas. Assuming all goes according to plan then the first homes could be live by the end of 2019, although the full build won’t complete until the end of 2022.

The new FTTH extension is being built out from the operator’s existing 90km+ Dark Fibre network (here), which for the past few years has been serving local public sector and business sites. Once completed it’s expected that around 100,000 premises in the town should be able to benefit from the new service.

Aideen Sadler, CityFibre’s City Manager for Southend-on-Sea, said:

“For people across Southend, their digital future is just around the corner. Work is now underway in both the Eastwood Park and Progress Road industrial areas and the first homes will soon be able to access full fibre. That is something to be celebrated.

Full fibre broadband will help households access all the latest entertainment at gigabit speeds, but the benefits are far deeper than that – from enabling smart home technology to giving people the freedom to work from home with ease.

The investment also comes at a critical time for Southend’s forward-thinking business community. Next generation full fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business locally – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”

Ian Gilbert, Leader of the Council, added:

“I am delighted to welcome CityFibre to Southend and make it a ‘Gigabit City’, allowing residents and businesses to take advantage of some of the fastest connection speeds in the UK.

Inevitably installing this physical network will involve some disruption for residents, but I am convinced that it is essential for our future prosperity. Connectivity has become one of the most important factors for businesses in making their investment decisions, and I am convinced that this alongside our location, our vibrant cultural scene and entrepreneurial track record, Southend could become one of the most attractive places in the UK to do business.”

As usual this all forms part of the operators wider £2.5bn investment (details), which aims to deploy a Gigabit capable “full fibre” broadband infrastructure to cover around 1 million premises in 12 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 2025.

The Gigafast Broadband products are what Vodafone uses to promote their range of packages on the new network. The plans currently cost from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service and this rises to just £48 for their top 900Mbps tier (average peak time speeds). Cityfibre is encouraging locals to register their interest for the Gigafast service on Vodafone’s website.

At present the main source of competition for Cityfibre in the town will come from Virgin Media’s 500Mbps+ (soon to be 1Gbps) cable network, which covers almost two thirds of the area. Openreach’s G.fast network also exists in a modest patch but there’s certainly scope for improvement via a new FTTH infrastructure.

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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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11 Responses
  1. Avatar Jordan says:

    How come London isnt getting any fibre to the home? Most of the companies based in London but never fibre it up.

    1. Avatar Joe says:

      London is awash with fibre deployments atm. But its big so…!

    2. Avatar Rahul says:

      Because London has Hyperoptic, Community Fibre, Openreach, G.Network, etc and CityFibre probably don’t want to waste their money deploying in areas where there may be mass competition or overbuild.

      Targeting smaller cities like Coventry means they can complete these projects faster.

      I don’t mind if they don’t focus their attention on London. If other cities can be completed as fast as possible it is also in the interest of Londoners like myself so that later there can be more focus on London once other parts of the UK are completed and when FTTP becomes more UK traditional something that isn’t currently right now.

      Urban London doesn’t get that much focus on Fibre as some rural people believe it to be. Especially with wayleave permission issues being a far bigger challenge in London than in a village.
      I have no doubt that the roll-out of Fibre will be more quicker and efficient in other smaller towns and rural areas compared to London. There are just so many red tape and permission issues in London and the other big urban cities that it may take forever to deploy Fibre into building properties where building managers are reluctant to give permission like in my case with Hyperoptic last 4 years. A major potential progress in coverage that would have sped up by now had this permission for installation not been denied.

      This is why they are unable to Fibre it up like in my typical example despite so many alt net providers in London. Some Business Development Managers of alt net providers give up after a while when they see that the Property Owners refuse or ignore to meet for discussion. This is why Hyperoptic award free 1GB internet for a whole year to Hyperoptic Champions if they successfully persuade their management team to sign an agreement with them.

  2. Avatar AnotherTim says:

    London is getting fibre to the home, and G.fast, and Virgin Media, and FTTC and 5G. But not every house is covered, and if you don’t have access to a fast connection the fact that others do doesn’t help you.
    And it isn’t any consolation that those in rural areas have even fewer options.

    1. Avatar A_Builder says:

      Or more positively there is an awful lot of good work actually going on by a lot of companies.

      Old cracks about FTTPr (Fibre to the Press Release) as a bit wide of the mark ATM.

  3. Avatar Graham. says:

    When will this be rolled out in Rual North Devon, we’re still on poor second rate internet, Please for the love of God help us. Thank You.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      I’m afraid there’s almoat no chance of CityFibre building in rural North Devon. They only build out from their metropolitan area networks and only build those in towns and cities where they’ve struck deals with the local authority.

  4. Avatar Matthew says:

    You do have to wonder if Virgin won’t start targeting more of the cities that CityFibre are building out. I mean yes they have a presence there but a fair amount of the time it is only about 2/3 of the city where as CityFibre are saying nearly every home and business. If we are being pragmatic that has to be around 90% of the area so clearly more houses then Virgin just a thought is all.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Not sure why VM would care about someone else covering parts of a town or city they don’t? Far more reason to worry about areas they have covered right now.

  5. Avatar Glenn says:

    Who do city fiber use for there installation to house

  6. Avatar Harman Singh says:

    City fibre have been laying down fibre down my road in Slough this week.
    Cut through a street light power cable yesterday and scratched my car.
    Complete cowboys.

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