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Cityfibre Confirm Local Full Fibre Rollout Plan for Portsmouth UK

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 (11:21 am) - Score 1,348
fibre optic cable wave

Cityfibre has today confirmed our October report (here), which revealed that Portsmouth City Council had awarded them the £3.8m Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) contract to rollout a new “gigabit-capable” Ethernet and broadband network to c.200 public sector sites – both in and around the south coast city.

At present the operator is already working with business ISP Giganet (M12) on a joint project to deploy a 1Gbps “full fibre” network for 1,500 businesses inside Portsmouth (here); Vostron is another ISP on their platform. Back in 2016 they also gobbled the metro fibre network assets of Redcentric plc for £5m, which included some infrastructure in Portsmouth.

Suffice to say that nobody will be surprised to see Cityfibre scoop the new 20-year Gigabit Commercial Port contract, which from early 2020 will begin work to extend the existing 34km long fibre network in order to connect public sector sites in Portsea Island, Fareham, Gosport, Cosham, Havant and Waterlooville.

The rollout is expected to take around 18 – 24 months to complete with sites becoming live on the network throughout the process. The fact that they’re also going to grow the network into outlying towns makes this a much bigger and more significant deployment than you may think.

portsmouth full fibre plan

As usual Cityfibre have opted for the anchor tenancy approach, which they’ve used in lots of other cities across the UK. Such networks tend to start out with a limited focus on improving public sector connectivity, but once built they’re often extended – requiring additional private investment – to reach local businesses and eventually even homes (example).

The project forms part of the Solent framework, a multi-lot framework available to public sector bodies in the Solent region. Portsmouth is the first call off under the framework and Cityfibre has been awarded sole supplier status of the infrastructure lot. A second lot for the active services is currently in final negotiations, with an announcement expected to follow shortly.

Rob Hamlin, Chief Commercial Officer at Cityfibre, said:

“This is another landmark moment for CityFibre as it has been entrusted to deliver yet another major piece of critical public sector fibre infrastructure. This project will play a key role in transforming Portsmouth into a modern, fully connected, digital city. As the UK continues on its path to full fibre by 2025, it’s pleasing to see local authorities get ahead of the game by future proofing their public sector estates with full fibre infrastructure ready to meet the needs of an increasingly digital public sector.”

Suzy Horton, Portsmouth City Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, said:

“This project means Portsmouth is set to compete on an international level for businesses and become a prime place for any looking for a UK location. However what I’m most excited about is the benefits this will bring to schools and communities.

The difference enriched learning opportunities can make to children is immeasurable and this new network can mean pupils in Portsmouth schools will be able to access cutting-edge technology and be at the forefront of the latest developments in education.”

Assuming all goes to plan then it would put new fibre within 200 metres of over 50,000 local premises (mostly homes), which as previously mentioned might eventually make it easier for Cityfibre to reach them as part of their work with consumer ISP partner Vodafone UK to deploy a new 1Gbps FTTH broadband network.

The construction programme on this project will be delivered by CCN.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar chris conder says:

    Great news. Altnets rock.

  2. Avatar FibreBubble says:

    Another state aided rollout for Citifibre and Prudential in an area with ample free market provision and no benefit whatsoever for residential, tax paying customers.

    1. Avatar CarlT says:

      Anchor tenancy is not state aid. This is made clear in the LFFN information.

      CityFibre are one of the very few altnets with some hope of being able to function independently rather than being acquired by xxx well funded, multinational.

      Name not mentioned as it’s rather obvious.

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