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Cityfibre Begin £32m Full Fibre Broadband Build in Portsmouth UK

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020 (1:26 pm) - Score 3,238
cityfibre over top narrow trenching ftth

Full fibre operator Cityfibre has today announced that they’ve started work on their latest £32m project to deploy a new “gigabit-capable” Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network across the south coast city of Portsmouth (Hampshire, UK), which is being supported by UK ISP partner Vodafone (with TalkTalk to follow).

At this point it’s important to clarify that there are actually two sides to Cityfibre’s roll-out. Aside from their commercial investment above, the operator has also been contracted by the council to deploy a new “full fibre” (Dark Fibre) network in order to connect around 200 public sector sites across the city by March 2021 (here), which is being supported by a public investment of £3.8m under the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme.

The Dark Fibre core should help to underpin their separate commercial investment, which will in turn extend FTTH to reach local homes and businesses across the city (Cityfibre usually aims for 85%+). Construction work on the latest £32m project has now officially commenced in the Southsea area with CCN Communications Ltd being contracted to handle the street works.

The new deployment forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn private investment plan (here), which aims to extend FTTH broadband to cover around 1 million UK premises by the end of 2021, before potentially reaching their ambition of 8 million premises across 100+ cities and towns by the end of 2025 or later (c.30% of the UK).

Lucy Cooper, CityFibre’s City Manager for Portsmouth, said:

“For people across Portsmouth, their digital future is just around the corner. Work is now well underway and that is something to be celebrated. Full fibre broadband will help households access all the latest entertainment at lightning speed, 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 Portsmouth’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.”

Councillor Tom Wood, Cabinet Member for Resources, said:

“CityFibre’s commitment to investing in Portsmouth will give the city a state-of-the-art infrastructure to serve businesses and residents for years to come. The gigabit technology, and its faster internet speeds, will bring massive benefits to our communities while also helping to grow the local economy, making it more resilient and dynamic.”

In terms of competition, Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable hybrid fibre coax network already covers the vast majority of Portsmouth and Openreach has a good deal of slower hybrid fibre G.fast technology, but only a tiny amount of FTTP. Suffice to say that having just one primary competitor to worry about is a good thing for Cityfibre.

Once live customers should be able to take one of Vodafone’s new Gigafast Broadband packages, which are priced from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service on an 18 month contract, including free installation and a decent wireless routers. The plans rise to £48 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier or £56 with Apple 4K TV.

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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.
Leave a Comment
13 Responses
  1. James T says:

    I’ve been informed by city that my area is part of the initial build which is fantastic but I live in a block of flats.

    How does FTTH connection work in regards to blocks of flats? is it more complex than simply connecting to a house?

    1. 5G_Infinity says:

      2 ways, either they,

      – fibre to the basement (FTTB) and then ethernet to the flats using Cat5e or 6


      – fibre to building and then fibre to each apartment/flat

    2. Kyle says:

      I live in a block of 8 flats and they just installed fibre right into my home.

  2. 5G_Infinity says:

    Overbuild well underway

  3. NE555 says:

    BTW, Vodafone is currently offering 200/200 for the same £28 per month:


  4. Harmz says:

    If you have cityfibre available but don’t wish to go with Voda, Is there a list of business ISPs somewhere that have wholesale access to their lines? Or is it just limited to Entanet?

    1. Tom says:

      No other resellers (not even Enta) of CityFibre FTTP other than Vodafone at present.

    2. kyle says:

      There is a few businesses that sell it but its like £160 a month.

    3. kyle says:


      here is a screenshot


    4. Harmz says:

      That screenshot looks like giganet, good to know, not completely tied to Voda. Anyone know if there are any others?

    5. DaveyO says:

      TalkTalk business will be joining a little later on.

  5. Stu says:

    Are Cityfibre using PIA to build this massive project quicker?

  6. Love Broadband says:

    Random question about the picture in this article.

    They are running fibre about 100mm under the pavement right? OldSkool telecoms is usually 600mm deep and uses colour coded ducting (purple?) so it can be identified with future roadworks.

    With these guys only hiding the fibre under pavements or tarmac, what’s to stop the next plonkers of a water board or electricity distributor cutting a big hole and accidentally ripping those extremely shallow fibres out?

    I think its a good deployment method, but I can also see huge outage problems coming…?

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