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Cityfibre Start £45m Derby UK 1Gbps FTTH Broadband Rollout

Monday, June 8th, 2020 (7:56 am) - Score 5,144

Cityfibre has confirmed that they’ve begun construction of their new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) based broadband ISP network in the city of Derby (Derbyshire, England), which is being conducted alongside civil engineering firm J. McCann & Co Ltd and is expected to cost £45m.

The operator, which aims to cover “nearly every home and business” in the city (they usually target 85%+ of local premises), has begun its build in the Mackworth area, with Abbey, Mickleover, Allestree and Darley set to follow later this year. Cityfibre’s existing Dark Fibre network is helping to underpin their expansion plans.

The news follows only a few weeks after Cityfibre announced that they’d also secured a blanket wayleave agreement with the local council to help connect 13,000 council house tenants in the city (here). Otherwise the operator’s main competition for gigabit connectivity is Virgin Media, which already covers the vast majority of local premises. Openreach also has a bit of FTTP in outlying areas and a fair bit of slower hybrid fibre G.fast (100Mbps+) in central areas. Glide has connected a few areas to full fibre too, albeit more business focused.

All of this forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn private investment plan (here), which aims to deploy Gigabit capable “full fibre” 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).

Sorry for being a few days later than usual with this news. We actually spotted it on Wednesday but other work took priority.

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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.
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26 Responses
  1. Optical says:

    Wish Cityfibre would get on & make a start on Bath.

  2. Danny says:

    The thing is my City of Wakefield literally only really has Virgin for fast ultrafast speeds whereas BT have done a tiny bit of FTTP in rural areas but not the main city or the surrounding town and City Fibre literally own dark fibre in the City. It’s rich pickings if someone decides to roll out fibre

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Wakefield is an unusual one. Cityfibre originally announced it but then removed the city in their latest update and I did ask them about this, but there wasn’t a clear response. As you say they have an extensive Dark Fibre network there.


    2. CarlT says:

      Danny/Mark – this is a weird one. I’ll make some enquiries if you’d like? Does seem odd that Wakefield has been bumped off the list especially given there’s not an abundance of Openreach FTTP here or prospect of it arriving en masse any time soon.

    3. Roger_Gooner says:

      I don’t see how it can be rich pickings when VM already has a sizeable presence in the area and plans to upgrade its entire network to Gig1 by the end of 2021.

  3. NE555 says:

    Derby is an Openreach Fibre First city, with Allestree Park and Peartree already under construction. Overbuild looks likely.

    1. Ryan says:

      Such a shame when some towns still have just ADSL or FTTC with no prospect of anything soon and some places will soon get 3 FTTP providers, good luck to those providers as I don’t see how this can be profitable.

    2. GNewton says:

      @Ryan: Large telecom companies like BT don’t always go by what makes commercial sense. Quite often it’s more of a face-saving exercise, like saying I’am still here, too!

      Also, look at this article’s picture as an illustration of how far behind this country truly is when it comes to fibre broadband: “Full fibre broadband is here” as if it’s something special. Telecoms should have been doing it anyway, ages ago. You don’t see signs like “Electricity is here” or “Water pipes are here”, do you?

    3. James Band says:


      Spot on! I’m glad I’m not the only one. As well as being humorous, your comment is apt. “Water pipes are here. Electricity is here. Air is here!”

      Only FTTP should be allowed to be called Fibre (i.e. fibre all the way to your home). And it needs to be treated like a utility which in 2020 needs to be considered a basic standard – at least if we want to benchmark ourselves against the best in the world. Places like Japan, South Korea, Lithuania are far far ahead of us in terms of direct fibre rollout. And the pricing in places like South Korea/Singapore makes the “Ultrafast 900” products here look pretty expensive to say the least.

      I’d have thought building networks to rural customers would be a guaranteed win for any fibre builder. At a loss to explain why more retail ISPs aren’t buying from Openreach and offering a service, unless the “rent” is too high or something. For all intents and purposes, there is no competitor to BT on Openreach since the others are laughably expensive.

      The CityFibre £40-48 product via Vodafone was a start. But it is indeed sad that the nation’s expectations have been reduced so much to applaud what would be regarded as mediocrity on a global scale.

      I thought Dr. Cochrane (the BT engineer who recommended a national rollout way back when) opined that the most profitable and sensible technical approach was a national rollout with the benefits of economies of scale? This piecemeal rollout with overbuild here and no fibre elsewhere, and haphazard nature is surely contrary to economies of scale. The long term benefits of building fibre would surely be reaped with income from the line you have built as well which would have uptake in short order. I don’t think there is anyone in the country who is going to say “No I would rather pay the same price for a 1Mbps unreliable copper line which constantly goes thanks”. Pretty much every broadband line in the country (i.e. all copper connected households/businesses) will pay for fast internet over the long term.

      We don’t get electricity companies building ten electricity lines to the same homes!

  4. Somerset says:

    Planning application in for a building in Weston-super-Mare. They will be following VM who are installing FTTP across the town.

  5. Stew says:

    Does anyone have any info on when they might make a start in Swindon? They’ve been spotted on our little estate I guess surveying but I can’t get any info?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Swindon has been on their list for awhile, so I imagine it won’t be too long before you hear something as they’ve only got a few left to announce from the previous phase.

    2. RR says:

      20th May 2019, I noticed a Cityfibre van on our estate in Northampton, Feb 2020 they had just about completed the groundworks, still waiting for it to go live, parts of area are live, I’m guessing the virus has caused a delay for our go live. Also keep an eye on https://one.network/ website as it will be awash with telecoms roadworks when they are coming soon.

    3. RR says:

      Also I notice Swindon is a Openreach fibre first town, with us Openreach and Cityfibre have literally been falling over each other and mirror where they are working, so we went from no fibre at the start of 2020, to now having two FTTP providers in the space of 6 months.

    4. Granger says:

      The commercial rollout of city fibre in Swindon is live as my work now uses it. Still waiting to hear when we can sign up for residential.

  6. Stew says:

    That’s encouraging to hear as openreach just quoted about £2500 a household for fttp when we tried a community partnership.

  7. Jamie Simms says:

    City Fibre Also started their rollout in Leicester last week. The construction teams have started in the Belgrave area and they are installing all the ducts now.

    This is an interesting place to start the rollout as it has blanket VM coverage and lots G Fast from Openreach also it is one of the poorest areas of the city with low income.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Well spotted Jamie.

    2. CT says:

      Do you know who is doing the construction?

  8. Harmz says:

    @Mark, FYI, “Darley Abbey” is one area (as far as I’m aware).

  9. CarlT says:

    A bit of a change of tone from the other comments, I know, but great to see another city receiving investment.

  10. Mark Whamond-Cornelius says:

    Any idea when Cityfibre will start on Plymouth build?

  11. James says:

    My parents live along one of the busier residential streets in Mickleover (one of the announced areas), but we are out of scope. So on this rather limited sampling I would say the reported 85%+ coverage sounds optimistic. There is also no map showing the planned deployment. On a positive note the local Cityfibre rep responded quickly to my enquiry so if I could do business with this company, I would.

    1. Rich says:

      Hi James, can you share the contact details for the CityFibre rep you spoke to. I’m in Mackworth and going by the one.network map of CityFibre’s planned work I will also be outside the 85% coverage area. Maybe the rep could confirm this for me. I agree, a map showing coverage plans would have been a help!

    2. James says:

      Hi Rich
      I just used the Residential/Register your interest via their website and received a response after a few days.



  12. Richard Johnson says:

    I see Derby are putting it in all it’s council homes. But nowhere does it say how much it will cost. How many tenants will be able to afford it?

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