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Cityfibre Confirms £117m Rollout of 1Gbps Fibre in Nottingham

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 (3:36 pm) - Score 1,464
cityfibre street works fibre optic dig

Fibre optic network developer Cityfibre has today revealed that they intend to invest £117m in order to deploy a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the central England city of Nottingham, which is to be supported by civil engineering firm McCann.

Work on the new network, which aims to “reach of nearly every home and business in the town” (they usually target 85%+ coverage), is due to begin in January 2021 and will probably take a few years to complete.

NOTE: Nottingham is home to a population of 331,000.

The deployment forms part of the operator’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.

As usual the work will no doubt benefit from that fact that Cityfibre already has a Dark Fibre style network in the city (one of those they acquired from KCOM in 2015), which since 2017 has been used to serve local businesses (e.g. those based in Arnold, Daybrook, Woodthorpe, Forest Fields, Hyson Green, Nottingham Trent University, Queens Medical Centre, West Bridgford and Clifton Boulevard etc.).

Dominika Walker, CityFibre’s City Manager for Nottingham, said:

“I’m delighted to be part of an organisation that is doing everything it can to transform towns and cities across the country. Our digital infrastructure plays a crucial role in growing and protecting local economies, even more so during these unprecedented times when connectivity has proven vital to residents, businesses and public services alike.”

The catch here is that Nottingham is already a fairly competitive market for gigabit-capable networks, thanks to Virgin Media’s extensive coverage and Openreach’s on-going deployment of FTTP. On top of that Hyperoptic, Glide, OFNL and the ITS Technology Group have also deployed full fibre services in different parts of the city.

Suffice to say that Cityfibre and their ISP partners – TalkTalk and Vodafone – will have to fight hard to dent the local market.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    Another pointless exercise in digging up pavements for a city already covered with FTTP or cable already. I just don’t get it, its not like they’re going to be competitive with the providers already available anyway, so what’s the point?

    1. Avatar NE555 says:

      I think that *is* the point: their plan is to undercut Virgin and Openreach on price, delivering an FTTP product retailing at or slightly below FTTC pricing, in the most profitable 25% of the country.

      Vodafone’s 35M/35M offering at £23 is 50p cheaper than Talktalk’s up-to 40/10 FTTC.

      If they managed to get pick up, say, one third of the market in a busy area, then there’s a business case – this will be more likely when Cityfibre get big names like Talktalk on board and start migrating existing customers from Openreach. That strategy isn’t going to increase national coverage of Superfast or Ultrafast much, if at all, but that’s not what the investors care about.

      If they decide it’s worth digging up the pavements again, it implies that Openreach are overcharging for FTTP, or at least this is the opportunity that investors perceive. Openreach have their hands tied on FTTP pricing by OFCOM. If they were to drop their prices to more realistic levels, this would be seen as anti-competitive.

    2. Avatar cdh1981 says:

      “its not like they’re going to be competitive with the providers already available anyway”

      Really? Have you seen Vodafone’s GigaFast pricing which uses the CityFibre network?

    3. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Plus if you want to be a serious challenger in urban areas then that means accepting you’ll have rivals and having confidence in your product being better.

    4. Avatar 125us says:

      Presumably their investors don’t believe it to be pointless or they’d not have stumped up the cash for the work. Fibre rollouts are driven by housing density and the propensity of those households to pay for premium products. There’s more money to be made overbuilding in a wealthy city than there is providing the first service to a less wealthy, more rural area.

  2. Avatar Buggerlugz says:

    I don’t think they should be allowed to dig it up “again”. I do think Virgin should be made to open they’re cable to other providers instead however.

    1. Avatar PadyLoki says:

      most of the roads in Nottingham are already being dug up anyway. The volume of road works in the city is a joke, this will not even make a dent to the current disruption.

      I look forward to seeing FTTP available, where I can only currently get a FTTC service at present. Also wouldn’t touch VM with the neighbours connection.

    2. Avatar 125us says:

      Then you create a land grab and consumers can only buy from whichever ISP arrives first. You’d be literally creating monopolies.

    3. Avatar Aled L says:

      Competition generally does wonderful things for product/market improvements.

      Would BT be rolling out fibre without the fierce competition?

      I still don’t trust virgin, they are faster than BT but they seem unable to deliver reliably in peak hours and throttle like crazy.

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