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Cityfibre UK Completes and Extends 1Gb Fibre Build in Stirling

Monday, August 3rd, 2020 (9:48 am) - Score 1,259
cityfibre engineer over reel of purple fibre

Cityfibre, which is being supported by ISP partner Vodafone UK, has today confirmed that their £10m roll-out of a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) ultrafast broadband network in the Scottish city of Stirling has become their first completed “Gigabit City” project. But the build is set to see a £2m extension.

Previously Cityfibre only operated a 24km long Dark Fibre network in Stirling, which was used to serve public sector sites and businesses, although since November 2018 the new FTTH build has been massively expanding upon that – aiming to reach “almost every home and business” in Stirling and the Bridge of Allan (they often aspire for 85%+ coverage of each city).

Overall the operator claims to have covered 17,500 premises across the city with their new FTTH network but, “in response to strong demand,” Cityfibre has just committed to extend their network to reach 2,500 additional premises in the city (so.. not quite completed). Sadly, Cityfibre never stated a solid premises passed target when they first began their build and that makes it difficult to judge such targets.

Much of the extended rollout will take place in the city centre. Alongside the initial project, this will increase CityFibre’s infrastructure investment in Stirling to over £12m. The operator said they would also continue to work closely with the local community, Stirling City Council and their ISP partners to “aggregate demand and further extend its rollout.”

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“Completing the delivery of our first Gigabit City build project is a major milestone for CityFibre and demonstrates the speed with which an entirely new digital infrastructure can be deployed. It’s thanks to the huge support from Stirling Council and residents of this spectacular city, that we have been able to make such rapid progress and we are delighted to announce the further extension of our build to thousands more homes and businesses.

Providing full fibre nationwide by 2025 is the single most critical and effective infrastructure project to ensure the UK’s rapid and long-lasting economic recovery in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. Investment like this will also have a more immediate impact by creating thousands of jobs in Scotland and up to 10,000 across the UK within the next three years. As Gigabit City projects like Stirling start to come off the production line, they – and the rest of the UK – will start to reap the benefit.”

Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, said:

“Digital Connectivity has played a vital role in supporting our efforts to keep people safe during the pandemic – not least to support our children and young people to continue learning at home during lockdown. It will also play a pivotal role in plans for our strategic economic recovery from the pandemic, to maintain jobs and livelihoods, and to create new skills and opportunities.

I welcome today’s announcement from CityFibre. Their commercial investment in full-fibre broadband will provide a significant boost for Stirling and complements our own investment programme to deliver superfast broadband to every home and business in Scotland.”

As usual this project forms part of Cityfibre’s wider £4bn investment plan (here), which currently aims to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 and then 8 million across 100+ cities and towns (c.30% of the UK). The latter target is expected to be “substantially completed” by the end of 2025.

Stirling is one of Cityfibre’s smaller FTTH projects but it’s also a particularly interesting pick as neither of their two major rivals, Virgin Media and Openreach (BT), have a significant “ultrafast broadband” network presence in the city. On the other hand, data from Thinkbroadband (TBB) suggests that only 42% of Stirling is now covered by a “full fibre” network, which is well below what we were expecting, but then Stirling council covers a much bigger area than just the city.

Meanwhile locals can order related Gigafast Broadband packages from Vodafone, which currently cost from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (average symmetric speed) service on an 18 month contract, including free installation and a good wireless router, which rises to £48 for 900Mbps.

Cityfibre’s other projects in Scotland include Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Stirling and most recently, Dundee, Inverness and Renfrewshire.

UPDATE 10:06am

Andrew over at TBB informs us that Cityfibre’s network has FTTH coverage for 66% of the Stirling exchange, 51% around the Bridge of Allan and 57.3% of Bannockburn.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Alex says:

    So not complete then…

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