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CityFibre UK Shelves Stoke-on-Trent FTTP Broadband Rollout

Saturday, February 6th, 2021 (12:01 am) - Score 4,848

CityFibre has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that their plan to rollout a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network across the Staffordshire city of Stoke-on-Trent, which was first announced almost year ago in March 2020, has been shelved. But they haven’t completely abandoned the idea.

The operator is currently working to invest £4bn (here and here) in order to deploy their FTTP network 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), although the latter target isn’t expected to be “substantially completed” until the end of 2025 (depending upon how they define ‘substantially’).

NOTE: CityFibre has so far covered 500,000 premises and are continuing to ramp-up.

Despite this one of our readers (Nick) recently noticed that Stoke-on-Trent had disappeared from CityFibre’s network map (here). The city is currently covered by Virgin Media’s own gigabit-capable network and, more recently, VXFIBER (inc. subsidiary LilaConnect) have also begun to deploy FTTP infrastructure to 100,000 premises as part of their £19.2m partnership with the city council.

Openreach have a few patches of FTTP too, but nothing big.. yet. Suffice to say that we weren’t too surprised when CityFibre confirmed to us that plans for the city had been put on somewhat of a pause, although it’s worth remembering that VXFIBER confirmed their plans for Stoke in October 2019 (here), which is well before CF announced it.

A Spokesperson at CityFibre told ISPreview.co.uk:

“As we continue to accelerate the speed of our rollout, we constantly review and reprioritise build projects. Stoke is one example where, for a number of commercial and operational reasons, we have made the decision to deprioritise the rollout. But that does not mean that we have no ambition to build full fibre infrastructure across the city in the future and we will continue to work closely with the local authority to bring it back into the programme.”

We did ask if any of CF’s other locations had been or were due to be put in the same boat as Stoke, but the operator didn’t provide a response to that question.

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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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10 Responses
  1. Daniel says:

    If they have some free time they could come to tutbury and Hatton instead we only have fttc so not much for competition, so take up would be massive 😀

    1. JP says:

      Ii don’t think competition is problem, City Fibre is rolling out in an area near mW that already has 2 Gigabit providers in it.

      Maybe its an issue of securing manpower or maybe they’ve overcooked the plans a bit

  2. Jason Smith says:

    I was hoping CityFiber would be quicker at rolling out FTTP than Lilaconnect. They’re being really slow around here and I think it’ll be a number of years yet until i get it in my area of Stoke in basford. The main road I live next to I saw them installing cables, but they didn’t come onto several estates here, and no cabinets installed.

    Lilaconnect only have 1 speed tier, that it 1GBPS. Not sure how many local people would be willing to pay £45, if only they also had a lower price/speed tier to attract more customers and compete with virgin media

    1. 5G_Infinity says:

      VXFiber don’t need cabinets for their network, they will have a larger access node every couple of thousand houses. Re only 1Gbps, VXFiber has a wholesale, open access platform, so there will be many ISPs available on this as time progresses with many different options.

      £45 for 1Gbps symmetric is a good offer, most Openreach based 330/50 Mbps offers from ISPs are at £0 to £70.

    2. Paul says:

      I think you’ll find the rollout is gaining significant pace following what was essentially a mobilisation period last year.

      Also I would recommend taking a further look at pricing and product offerings on the network.

    3. NE555 says:

      > most Openreach based 330/50 Mbps offers from ISPs are at £0 to £70.

      Where can I get the £0 offer? 🙂

    4. Bubblesthefish6 says:

      @NE55 Count me in too 😉

  3. Archie says:

    I want to understand better. I believe Zen are coming to my area through the use of CityFibre.

    I’m sure I’ve seen that Vodafone users are able to get 900mbps symmetrical on their CityFibre network, so does that mean that I will be able technically be able to receive symmetrical speeds but I’ll be limited to be available service levels/speeds available with Zen, or will the underlying technology be different and therefore prohibitive with respect to what up and down speed I’m able to receive?

    1. RR says:

      Zen over Cityfibre network will be the same speeds as Vodafone.
      Actual speed is more like 940Mbps up and down, which is limit of the 1Gbe ONT connection.
      I get that with Vodafone day or night, its been quite superb and reliable really.

  4. Winston Smith says:

    Clearly they can’t do it on a cold rainy night in Stoke.

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