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Cityfibre’s FTTH Broadband Rollout Grows to 70,748 UK Premises

Monday, August 12th, 2019 (11:07 am) - Score 2,653
cityfibre aberdeen ftth fttp build

The latest independent data has estimated that Cityfibre’s £2.5bn project to rollout a 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network to cover 5 million premises across 37 UK cities and towns by the end of 2025 (here) – supported by ISP partner Vodafone – has so now reached 70,748 premises (August 2019).

The £2.5bn project was first announced last October 2018 (here) and its initial Phase One deployment is already investing around £500m in order to cover a “minimum” of 1 million homes and businesses in 12 initial cities and towns by the end of 2021. The rollout for this first phase has thus been gradually getting underway since late 2018 and is still in the ramping-up stage (some of the first 12 cities have yet to begin their official builds).

However we now have a good idea of how this early work is going, which is thanks to the latest modelling from Thinkbroadband‘s database. The data suggests that their service should now be available to order (live) via around 70,748 premises (mostly homes) across their initial deployments in Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Aberdeen, Coventry and Stirling.

The figure of 70,748 premises represents nearly a trebling of Cityfibre’s FTTH footprint since February 2019 (25,445 premises), which equates to a build rate of roughly 7,550 premises per month over the past 6 months. We wouldn’t be surprised to see this build rate double or more by the end of 2019 and they’ll need to go faster still in order to reach 1 million premises by the end of 2021.

NOTE: Cityfibre has not released any official premises passed figures but they’re probably a little ahead of the above estimate.

Assuming they’d been able to start at a full build rate in 2019 then over three years they would have needed to build at around 28,000 premises per month in order to reach 1,000,000 premises in time. The fact that it takes time to ramp-up means they’ll need to reach an even faster deployment rate than 28K in the near future. Cityfibre has previously talked about potentially requiring c.5,000 engineers to work on this.

By comparison Openreach, which has around 30,000 engineers (although only a proportion of those are dedicated to building full fibre), is currently able to build at a rate of 20,000 per week (call it c.90,000 per month) and we’re expecting that to increase a fair bit in order to reach their own ambition of 4 million premises by March 2021 and then 15 million premises by around 2025 (currently 1.5 million completed).

Otherwise the related Gigafast Broadband packages from Vodafone cost from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service on an 18 month contract, including free installation (you also get a very good wireless router in the bundle). This then rises to just £48 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier, which is significantly cheaper and faster than anything Openreach (BT) can currently offer via their own FTTP. On the other hand Cityfibre’s network lacks the same depth of familiar ISP choices.

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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 Matthew

    To be honest I’m not sure the ISP choice is really that big of an issue anymore yes Sky and Talktalk built up there bases from it but that was because BT itself was charging so much how anyone can say £28 for Symmetric 100Mbps is a lot is beyond me. I think it’s a very reasonable price to pay lines up roughly with Virgins 100 broadband price and that doesn’t have the same upload speed.

  2. Avatar NGA for all

    This 7.5k a month in urban provides an interesting contrast to the 7.4k FTTP premises reported by TB for rural UK via BDUK from July 12th to Aug 12th.

    It is possible to fund double this amount for rural if it can be contracted.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Apples, oranges, cherry picked areas versus the stuff that no-one wanted to do commercially. Meaningless.

  3. Avatar Hercules

    Make too much verywherever

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