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Cityfibre’s 1Gbps FTTP Broadband Goes Live in Portsmouth UK

Friday, February 26th, 2021 (10:47 am) - Score 3,384
Cityfibre_contractors_up_pole_picture_fttp

Full fibre operator Cityfibre has announced that their new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network has finally started to go live for customers in the south coast city of Portsmouth (Hampshire, UK), which is being supported by UK ISP partner Giganet. The rollout itself reflects an investment of £32m.

As usual the work forms part of their wider £4bn investment programme (here and here), which currently aims to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 (they’ve already covered 500,000 premises) 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.

NOTE: Cityfibre is being supported by various ISPs, such as Vodafone (Gigafast Broadband), TalkTalk, Zen Internet, Giganet and others, but they aren’t all live or available in every location yet. The operator usually aims to reach 85%+ of premises in each town or city they target.

Cityfibre has separately also been contracted by the Portsmouth city council to deploy a new Dark Fibre network, which will connect around 200 public sector sites by March 2021 (here) and is being supported by a public investment of £3.8m under the Local Full Fibre Network (LFFN) programme. This network will of course help to underpin the aforementioned commercial FTTP project.

According to local ISP partner Giganet, the first homes to go live on Cityfibre’s new FTTP infrastructure were this week connected in the Southsea area (including Giganet’s own marketing manager and several other residents). The operator intends to continue their build in Portsmouth for another 3 years.

Lucy Cooper, CityFibre’s City Manager for Portsmouth, said:

“We know people are looking forward to reaping the benefits of full fibre connectivity and we thank them for their patience while we continue to roll out the infrastructure. The speeds, reliability, and near infinite bandwidths will allow residents of Portsmouth to enjoy world class connectivity so they can stream, play and work the way they want to. We look forward to working with the community in years to come to make full fibre available to even more homes.”

Ruth, Giganet’s Marketing Manager, said:

“I’ve been wanting to ditch my current provider for years as the connection often drops and they raise their prices every year. I’ve been very excited to get this new connection from Giganet and so pleased it’s now up and running. I just did a speed test and it said 923Mb/s. That’s 9 times faster than the one I did yesterday on my old connection.”

Customers on Giganet’s service can choose from two packages. The first costs £37 per month on a 12-month term and this gives you an unlimited 500Mbps (symmetric) speed package with an included router and UK support, while the second package costs £40 and for that you’ll get 900Mbps.

In terms of competition, Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable hybrid fibre coax network already covers the vast majority of Portsmouth and Openreach has a good deal of slower hybrid fibre G.fast technology, but only a limited amount of FTTP.

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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.
Leave a Comment
12 Responses
  1. JP says:

    I do like that they seem to be using any means necessary to rollout (ie. Overhead connections and underground)

    1. Meadmodj says:

      Near here Cityfibre appear to be favouring locations (at least initially) that are predominantly overhead and have grass verges. Where there are no poles they are laying micro duct to the per premises and installing small cabinets for flexibility. But where there is a pole they are utilising a single duct to the pole to feed the ASN. In some situations they are also linking poles to save civils (not just to intermediate poles). But I have also noticed they have not covered all properties within a location missing some out OH or UG.

    2. JP says:

      Interesting…. I guess whatever it takes to get people online really, maybe they will do some extra works in future but I feel that might not be the case.

  2. Shaun McDonald says:

    I’ve got my install in Ipswich due to happen on Tuesday, so be interesting to see what will happen.

  3. Paul Hockaday says:

    As an employee I am so sad that Openreach haven’t been able to roll out FTTP in Portsmouth, but I have total respect for CityFibre spotting an ideal location for them to build their network. As with the early days of the copper network, pole fed FTTP customers are a better cost proposition compared to an underground feed. The population density of Portsmouth, together with the high quality of the existing ducted telephony network, makes it the perfect choice – well done CityFibre

    1. Meadmodj says:

      Unfortunately they left it late and are now having to focus their investment. OR are still in a better position with their existing duct though. Although Cityfibre are using OR poles in Crawley they are laying their own distribution duct.
      The future OR plans will depend on how market share pans out and ISP agreements with Altnets. Like Crawley their is a heavy VM presence and Altnets will cream of those that “need” high speed products so OR may consider them lower priority.

    2. JP says:

      @Meadmodj – City fibre should do well in Crawley, there’s been a long time monopoly for Virgin there and during that time they’ve not been the greatest of hosts.

      Openreach FTTC was OK but there was several line issues that impacted services (my 300m line acted like it was 600m) and cross-talk made that worse when everyone switched to avoid Virgin’s congestion issues between 2014 – 2016

  4. Suresh Patel says:

    On 19th feb a MAKE FIBRE HAPPEN drove past my car in the Bolton area and ripped off my wing mirror on my car causing several hundred pounds of damage and never bothered to stop.After several days managed to track down company over my cctv. Spoke to city fibre office and gave my details on Wednesday 23rd shortly after supervisor came round and said the driver had owned up and knocked on several doors to enquire who owned car ! Really ! Has my details but still hasn’t been in contact.

    1. JP says:

      Cool, abandon rolling out fibre networks across the UK then I guess.

  5. Paul Tansom says:

    Frustratingly I live about a mile outside Portsmouth and I’m just leaving Cityfibre in order to get a decent speed. There are no plans to expand out to where I am, and although BT has FTTC enabled here the fastest that can give my area is 16Mbps. Thankfully I can switch to Virgin to get better speed, but it comes at the cost of technical features and increased cost. £37 a month would be both a cost saving and a jump in speed even from Virgin (particularly up). UK broadband really is in a sorry state.

    1. 125us says:

      How is it in a sorry state?

      You have a choice of two services available to you – more if you count the cellular networks. You chose the cheaper, slower one and seem dissatisfied with the faster one because it costs more.

  6. Ben says:

    Any idea how to encourage CityFibre to build? I’d love to see them come to Haywards Heath – I know Virgin have already started their build but I don’t really want to pay more than I’m currently paying (Zen) for higher latency, worse customer service, and congestion.

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