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Cityfibre Begins FTTH Broadband Rollout in Adur and Worthing

Thursday, February 20th, 2020 (11:28 am) - Score 2,116

Cityfibre has announced that they’ve begun their £25m project to roll-out a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network across the District of Adur and Borough of Worthing in West Sussex, which is being supported by UK ISP partner Vodafone (with TalkTalk expected to follow later).

The new network will no doubt harness some of the Dark Fibre style infrastructure that Cityfibre has recently been deploying across the area as part of the publicly funded West Sussex Gigabit project (this is about to be extended – here), which was originally built to connect public sector sites. The good news is that operators can then optionally put private investment towards extending this toward local homes and businesses.

As such today’s news forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn private investment plan (here and here), which aims to deploy a Gigabit capable “full fibre” broadband network to cover around 1 million UK premises by the end of 2021 (phase one – costing c.£500m), before potentially rising to 8 million premises by the end of 2025 or later.

NOTE: Cityfibre usually aims to cover 85%+ of every town or city they target with FTTH.

The operator has chosen local contractor CCN to deliver the construction programme on their behalf and work is already in progress on the western side of Worthing, just north of Marine Gardens.

Adrian Smith, CityFibre’s Local City Manager, said:

“The district is one step closer to becoming a Gigabit destination with work now underway to install state-of-the-art digital infrastructure across the area. We look forward to residents benefiting from full fibre, meaning they’ll not only be able to access all the latest entertainment and services at Gigafast speed and smart home technology, they will also have the freedom to work from home with ease.

As Adur and Worthing continue on their path to explore new economic opportunities, having access to transformative full fibre connectivity will help drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to flourish.”

Cllr Edward Crouch, Worthing Borough Council, said:

“We welcome this investment by CityFibre into Worthing to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose digital infrastructure that will futureproof residents and businesses. CityFibre’s full fibre network will be vital in ensuring Worthing has a resilient and dynamic economy for years to come.”

Once live locals should be able to take Vodafone’s related Gigafast Broadband packages, which 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); this rises to just £40 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier.

As usual Cityfibre won’t have the area all to themselves because Virgin Media’s soon-to-be 1Gbps capable cable and FTTP broadband network already covers the vast majority of premises in the area, which will make for an interesting bit of competition once the new network build goes live. Worthing is also on Openreach’s roll-out list for FTTP but we’ve yet to see any of that go live (expected soon).

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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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12 Responses
  1. Avatar Him

    No mention of the Openreach FTTP build which is already well underway and already available to some locations within Worthing

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Worthing was announced in July 2019 (74th on OR FTTP rollout list). If they have started great but even if they haven’t and are still planning they will roughly be rolling out at the same time possibly at a faster rate. Nearly all of the urban covered by good OR Superfast and VM. Some G.Fast available north side of Salvington Rd. New Build west of Durrington picked up by OFNL.
      So it is going to be interesting as Worthing will be spoilt for choice come 21 onwards.

      Negates my theory that Cityfibre would avoid OR/VM and others in the short term. Unless they just need to justify earlier promises to LAs on the LFFN funded spine.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      Appears the status of OR FTTP is already at “In Progress” for Central Worthing, East Worthing, Broadwater and Sompting.

    • Avatar Meadmodj

      The bad news is that for those above the A27 will still be floundering on ADSL (above USO) and for those in Worthing itself can look forward to the disruption of Cityfibre civils in streets which will already have two Ultra/Giga suppliers.

    • Avatar John Uncle


      Agreed. It seems ridiculous to spend money building two fibre lines to the same place, whilst everyone else has ZERO fibre. Surely a better solution would be:
      1. Government passes law stating that all copper lines (or any new telephone line) must be fibre. Deadline is let’s say 3 years (i.e. March 2023, or else the operator will have to pay the government a fine of £10,000 per copper customer per day).
      2. Openreach is split off from BT by law. I can’t see any voter rushing to BT’s defence.
      3. Openreach remains a private company and gets to keep its fibre building assets
      4. The Openreach network becomes part of a new entity known as British Fibre, modelled on Network Rail, or UKPowernetworks. This entity has a 30% taxpayer stake with a veto over any takeover of the entity. The remaining stake (70%) is split in proportion to money invested already by Openreach (i.e. Openreach owns shares which they can sell) and any other company willing to voluntarily hand over its fibre network to British Fibre (e.g. Hyperoptic, CityFibre, B4RN etc) with the balance apportioned off onto a listing on the London Stock Exchange. The company will be publicly listed.
      5. British Fibre has its own board and freedom of operations. Its only limitation is a law that states that the UK telecoms network (which includes copper lines at present) must be FULL fibre to the property (FTTP/FTTH) by 2023. An additional law can be passed to require the network to be Gigabit capable by 2025 and future proofed (e.g. benchmarked against South Korea, Japan etc) by 2030.
      6. British Fibre will own and maintain the network and have to tender out the development of its infrastructure in a FREE MARKET. Any company – Openreach, CityFibre, Hyperoptic, B4RN, Google Fibre, Entrepreneur – can bid to win contracts for each region/part of the network – and completes the build work according to a contract. The companies are merely like a construction company tasked with building a building/stadium.
      7. All ISP’s will get full access to the central national network maintained by British Fibre. British Fibre is not beholden to any single ISP, nor is any ISP beholden to British Fibre. An ISP will pay rental rates to British Fibre and the free market will keep prices at reasonable levels. If necessary the government can implement regulations (if there are any) similar to the mobile telecoms market to avoid any ISP from buying shares/being able to influence British Fibre.

      That way you will not get overbuilds and underbuilds. You only need ONE fibre line going everywhere and a fibre line that works. I don’t see the electricity companies building 10 electricity lines to the same property to offer their services whilst nearby properties have zero electricity. It seems stupid to do this in the telephone/fibre industry especially when areas just outside these FTTP areas, as well as the wider country do not have fibre at all.

    • Avatar A Builder

      @uncle Jeremy

      What could possibly go wrong.

      This is a market experiment leave then to it.

      Every day loads of GB taxpayers can benefit from this without 1p of taxpayer cash involved.

      Overlap is leading to conpetition based price control great!!

      If ain’t broken down t try and fix it.

    • Avatar John Uncle

      @A Builder

      If you bothered to read what I wrote, it is a far BETTER free market model than the ridiculous model now. I.e. free market tenders for ANYONE to apply and build the network up.

      Having multiple lines to Property A seems pointless, when Properties B to Z don’t have fibre at all and stuck on copper.

      What we have now is NOT a free market, but an oligopoly, or vested interests. Openreach does not have enough incentive to deliver because it has a conflict of interests:
      1. Maintain leased business line revenue (virtual monopoly) – no business/entrepreneur will pay for this exorbitant product if there is an FTTP connection and they can take a pick of any provider at a lower price
      2. BT owning a stake is a major conflict of interest. That is like the burglar having a stake in the jury at his trial.

      I am NOT suggesting nationalisation and appointing socialist cronies and pen pushers. Instead I am suggesting doing the equivalent of the “Standard Oil” breakup in the United States to enforce competition. ANY fibre builder – Openreach, CityFibre, Google Fibre, even “A Builder” can then build the network up, competing to win tenders (let’s say set a deadline of 3 months for applications for each parish/sub unit of a county).

      What you seem to be suggesting is the equivalent of having a housing crisis in an area – and having the builder and landlord being the same person. There would be a conflict of interests since lower supply means higher prices for the landlord.

      I don’t think anyone in their right mind would say that our Telecommunications (Landline/Fibre) infrastructure isn’t broken/is perfect and the best in the world. Countries like Japan, South Korea are lightyears ahead of us in the countryside as are rural Portugal and Spain. Even our capital is miles behind Singapore – you can get 1000Mbps for £45 a month there (without haggling).

    • Avatar Jane

      @John Uncle @Abuilder

      John is right.

      Overbuild isn’t necessarily the problem (but wasteful and poor allocation of capital). But underbuild is a massive issue. You can’t have oversupply of resources at one hospital and zero supplies at another.

      If you have underbuild, then the law should state that ISPs cannot charge the same national rate for customers in rural areas who get 3Mbps on FTTC. They also shouldn’t be allowed to market FTTC as “Fibre” or Superfast when it isn’t full fibre to the property (FTTP).

      Sad thing is even the CityFibre rollout is leaving areas outside those cities in the lurch. If they delivered to rural locations, Openreach would be terrified and forced to deliver FTTP quicker. Given that all properties have to get fibre at some point, it seems bizarre that they argue it is unprofitable. Fibre should be made a right/compulsory for any telephone service. Then automatically companies have to operate in a new playing field and will make a profit. Because there is no law making it compulsory, ISPS/Openreach can get away with overcharging for fibre in the same way mobile providers overcharge for 3G by selling 5G contracts.

  2. Avatar Matthew

    Least this goes to show that the anchor contracts Cityfibre have signed are likely to transition to full rollouts

    • Avatar John Uncle

      But will CityFibre build an FTTP network to those outside (or just outside) their city rollouts? It is highly frustrating for postcodes just outside their build to not have CityFibre lines. And will CityFibre build to places where Openreach is rolling out (after so long waiting)?

      The pricing structure is going to be messy and look ridiculous given that currently CityFibre deliver a £40 a month for 900Mbps with Vodafone, Hyperoptic about £46 a month via their network and BT (via Openreach) charge £49.99 for 330Mbps?!

  3. Avatar What a dilemma

    Rich nobs ? FTTP.
    Poor people? FTTC.

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