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Cityfibre Sign £1.5bn of Contracts for UK FTTP Broadband Rollout UPDATE

Thursday, Nov 5th, 2020 (8:18 am) - Score 7,656

Cityfibre has today signed £1.5bn worth of civil engineering contracts (overall total of £2.5bn), which means they’ve now secured enough capacity to extend their 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network to 5 million UK premises, with all projects scheduled to be in build by summer 2021.

The new construction contracts form part of the operator’s wider £4bn investment programme (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. The new network is being supported by ISPs including Vodafone, TalkTalk and Giganet.

So far Cityfibre has awarded contracts worth £2.5bn for reaching 5 million premises, which means we can expect more announcements in the future. The new contracts will help to create over 3,750 new local network construction jobs as part of a 3-year recruitment and training programme to provide up to 10,000 people with jobs (mostly engineers) to help rollout the new network.

The latest deals, which are being supported by construction management firm Bechtel, are said to reflect deployments that will span across 27 of their targeted towns and cities, which by themselves equate to around 3 million additional premises (5 million when you add in the existing contracts). A total of 66 cities and towns now have at least one construction partner attached, although so far Cityfibre has only named around 62 of these.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said:

“By awarding these full fibre network construction contracts, we can ensure we have the construction resources we need to get the job done, bringing world-class digital infrastructure a step closer to millions across the UK. Each contract represents hundreds of jobs and upskilling opportunities for local people, building the networks Britain needs to survive and to thrive in a digital age.”

Oliver Dowden MP, UK Digital Secretary (DCMS), said:

“It is our national mission to connect every corner of the country to lightning fast gigabit speeds and we’re set to spend a record £5billion to achieve this.

But we cannot do it alone so I welcome CityFibre’s substantial investment to plug millions of homes and businesses into the social and economic benefits of next-generation broadband and create thousands of jobs in the process.”

Admittedly it will take several years for Cityfibre to truly build itself into a serious infrastructure competitor to Openreach (BT) and Virgin Media, but what today’s agreements help to signify is that they now have both the practical and economic foundations in place to turn that dream into a reality. The operator’s build phase may have got off to a slow start, but its future ramp-up pace looks set for a significant increase.

The first phase of their Accelerated Tender Awards Programme (ATAP) may now have ended, but they still have to award contracts for the final 3 million premises under their plan. The operator intends to begin a second ATAP phase for this “before the end of the year” and at present they claim to be “on track to have substantially completed [their build] by 2025.”

Hopefully Cityfibre will be able to offer a more concrete completion date once the final contracts have been awarded, which we suspect will occur sometime later next year (it always takes awhile to thrash out these deals). On top of that it’s worth pointing out that the operator is keen to play a role in the UK Government’s new £5bn project to extend gigabit-capable broadband services into rural areas (here).

UPDATE 6th Nov 2020

We know that one of the contractors involved in the above announcement is Kier, which has secured deals worth £82m to deploy in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare and Worcester.

UPDATE 9th Nov 2020

We now have a full list of the contractors.

  • Callan Connect – Solihull
  • CCN – Chichester & Arun, Poole, Christchurch
  • Instalcom – Reading
  • J McCann – Nottingham
  • IQA – North Tyneside
  • Kier – Cheltenham, Gloucester, Bath, Weston-Super-Mare and Worcester (£82m)
  • Lanes – Brighton & Hove, Chatham & Gillingham, Crawley and Horsham, Eastbourne
  • MAP – Middlesbrough
  • Network Plus – Bradford (£57m)
  • Nmcn – Barnsley, Halifax
  • O’Connor’s – Sheffield
  • Oakway – Plymouth
  • PMK – Renfrew and Glasgow South
  • Telent – Blackpool, Chester, Preston
  • VolkerSmart Technologies – Bracknell and Maidenhead
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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo ian says:

    I wish they put out a local rollout map like Openreach do, im watching them popup on the roadworks.org/one.network site and trying to guess the next steps!

    I have a sad life, but it kills a few minutes of my day 😀

    1. Avatar photo Greg says:

      Perhaps they are keeping their cards close to their chest and OR/Virgin guessing – though only for so long.

      They have started their roll out in Crawley albeit in a small residential area and with no announcements in the press.

    2. Avatar photo Barry says:

      This is exactly what I do! I’ve set up an email alert even

      I actually filled in the contact form on their website and was surprised when a real human called me back. I had a chat with him and he gave me some indicative dates when they will be installing in my area. It’s extra frustrating as I can see some of their manholes from my window

  2. Avatar photo David Lomax says:

    OMG, I do exactly the same thing. I light a candle, pray, and go on one.network!
    Why is there no transparency in what they are doing and where?

    1. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      Because someone who commented here complained to the ASA. You can only be sure it’s arrived when it has. Dates can and do change.

    2. Avatar photo Fastman says:

      yep no one publishes details plans because of the ASA ruling after an ISP review poster complained tot ASA that dates were not being met

      hey presto no one now issues detailed dates

      careful what you wish for as you might just get it and it might not turn out the way you expected it to

    3. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      “no one now issues detailed dates”

      This is not entirely correct, I’ve seen various smaller altnets giving rollout dates (in some cases down to street level), and several BDUK projects still list specific deployment dates for individual areas or cabinets on their websites.

      Most of the big operators have rarely ever issued much in the way of detail for commercial deployments, but Openreach does tend to give a rough window once they’ve started work in an area (much like they did with the FTTC rollout before).

  3. Avatar photo Paul M says:

    How do I get them to come to my 1000 house village which has almost no fttp coverage at all, and no virgin cable, and poor 4g coverage?

    CB23 7xx postcode if anyone from city fibre is reading this.

  4. Avatar photo Ks says:

    Can’t they tell which area of they are homes they need to cover the rural areas such as bucks that suffers a lot

  5. Avatar photo james t says:

    keeping in tone with this article im fully aware that install times vary by location but can anyone shed any light on my situation?

    cityfibre have installed the majority if not all the cabling for there network in my area, the little green cabinets confirm that, however I’m concerned that they stopped short of reaching my mdu.

    This was 2 months ago now and cityfibre haven’t been here since so was just curious what the average timescale would be for them to return and connect my mdu to the network, or if it’s possible they decided my mdu is unviable to connect? (its only 12 properties).

    1. Avatar photo Barry says:

      They don’t like mdus as getting consent is a pain. Fill in their contact form online and let them know you can help, or at least give them the name of the management company to help them along. I’m not sure how they find out who manages a block. They might just write to the main ones like and just hope for the best

  6. Avatar photo GNewton says:

    While Cityfribe’s fibre rollout plans sound impressive, how many of the planned rollout areas already have fibre from other providers like Openreach etc.? Are they going to build in areas where there isn’t yet any fibre broadband?

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