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First Homes Live on Cityfibre’s Inverness FTTP Broadband Build

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 (10:24 am) - Score 2,040

Cityfibre has announced that the first homes have now connected to their new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network in the city of Inverness (Scotland), which began its £20m rollout last June 2020 and has so far completed in the Culloden, Balloch and Smithton areas of the city.

The work forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn investment programme (here and here), which currently aims to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 (so far they’ve 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 (this may well depend upon how they define ‘substantially’).

Cityfibre’s civil engineering contractor in the city, GCU UK Limited, is now understood to be deploying across the Crown, Drummond and Inshes areas. But in the meantime the first customers can now connect in completed areas (see above), which is currently being served by UK ISP BrawBand. The operator added that TalkTalk is also expected to join this network “soon.”

Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s City Manager for Inverness, said:

“It’s great to see Inverness take this next step forward in its digital transformation, enabling it to become one of the best-connected cities in the country. We’re receiving fantastic feedback from residents who are already benefiting from gigabit-speed connectivity and experiencing, first-hand, the difference Full Fibre can make to their lives.

At a time when the internet has become an essential gateway to work, school, family, friends and entertainment, it’s so important to ensure our infrastructure is up to the job we need it to do, both now and in the future.”

The city is a good target for Cityfibre because it’s one of the few urban UK locations where they won’t face any fully established gigabit-capable competitors, although Openreach are busy deploying FTTP and so that situation is gradually starting to change. But for now, both operators have so far managed to avoid any significant overbuild.

UPDATE 12:01pm

CityFibre informs us of a mistake in their PR, which is that Vodafone’s service has not currently been made available to Inverness, only BrawBand’s has. In the short-term, this is something that could hinder take-up (vs the familiarity of a major ISP).

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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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13 Responses
  1. chris conder says:

    Well done City Fibre. Love the altnets.

  2. David Alldritt says:

    Regarding your 12.01 update, we’re not seeing the absence of Vodafone or TalkTalk hindering customer take-up, at Team BrawBand we’re off to a great start and the contractors are busy connecting more people every day 🙂

  3. GotNoFTTP says:

    No mention of Zen? I see BrawBand are 50% more expensive than the price Zen offer for 900/900 in other areas on CityFibre.

    1. David Alldritt says:

      Oh aye? The Zen FTTP prices aren’t quite that braw according to this independent bit of info: https://www.thinkbroadband.com/isps/zen
      And what you see on the BrawBand webby is what you get – none of that ‘prices from’ and hunners of asterisks for the small print!

    2. John says:

      “The Zen FTTP prices aren’t quite that braw according to this independent bit of info:”

      Bit of a foot in mouth moment there David.

      You would think the Technology and Innovation Director of an ISP would be able to do a basic price check.

      Zen are actually cheaper than Brawband on the CityFibre network.

      Let’s see Brawband beat Zens pricing on OpenReach’s network, that you seem to think is high (it isn’t, OpenReach are much more expensive to wholesale from).

      As for your other comment…

      “none of that ‘prices from’ and hunners of asterisks for the small print!”

      Zen are 1 of the few ISP’s who have a fixed price. It doesn’t go up after your minimum term expires.

      From their website:

      “As long as you stay with Zen, we promise there will be no price rises. That’s a lifetime guarantee. Of course, this doesn’t stop us reducing the price you pay, and we reserve the right to do so!”

      I’d understand your comments with regards to Vodafone or the other big hits but in my opinion you’re barking up the wrong tree by trying to single out Zen.
      They are by far 1 of the best ISP’s out there with very knowledgeable customer service.

      Good luck to Brawband.
      This isn’t the best 1st impressions though.

    3. Highlander says:

      I was thinking of going with BrawBand, but reading this poor comment about a competitor from a director of the company has put me and my neighbours (who I showed the this post to) right off.

    4. Bob says:

      “And what you see on the BrawBand webby is what you get – none of that ‘prices from’ and hunners of asterisks for the small print!”

      This is unfortunately definitely not true and Brawband are possibly the worst I’ve seen for this, scroll past all the unlimited promises and no data caps, keep on scrolling, get to the very small links at the bottom and you’ll find this nasty little surprise:


      Keep on scrolling to find this carefully hidden away at the bottom:

      “BrawBand’s products are not subject to allowances or data transfer caps.”

      Sounds good but then….

      ” If a customer is transferring extremely large quantities of data (in excess of 1TB per month) on a regular basis we will, wherever possible, make adjustments to the network to prevent this from impacting other users. If such adjustments are not technically possible BrawBand reserves the right to limit the customer’s bandwidth or to move them to a more suitable and uncontended service which may have a higher cost.”

      So in other words it’s not unlimited at all and it has an unfair 1TB limit which looking at the Ofcom regulations they are not allowed to do.

  4. StillGotNoFTTP says:

    Aye, right. Lets compare apples with apples. The Think Broadband list is for Openreach lines. Here’s the price for Zen connecting over CityFibre https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/01/zen-internet-uk-reveals-900mbps-broadband-price-on-cityfibre.html

    I believe the only small print Zen do is to say they won’t ever put the price up for as long as you are with them.

    1. David Alldritt says:

      I thought I’d read something about a £40 offering from Zen, but couldn’t find it on their webby or comparison sites. Fair play to them – and to you for putting me right. One possible reason that Zen isn’t in Inverness right now is that there’s only 30,000 homes on the build, and that really impacts the commercial angles with relative economies of scale. That’s why BrawBand pricing is where it is – to deliver a sustainable, high-quality service and in that respect Zen and BrawBand are definitely apples and apples.

      Hope you’re able to change your username on here soon, I feel your pain (2Mbps on ADSL2+ from a rural exchange with about 300 EO lines… it’s not braw, it’s sh1te!)

    2. LeafNWS says:

      I don’t think the prices are that unreasonable, I currently pay £49 from Virgin Media for 500/35, so £44.95 for symmetric would be great.


  5. Dan Sutherland says:

    Work hasn’t completed across the south of the city though – there still large chunks of even Smithton and Culloden that GCU hasn’t installed ducts to yet.

    Hopefully it’s coming and this isn’t the installation part finished on this side of town.

    1. David Alldritt says:

      Hi Dan, There is more build in that part of the city, and if you register at brawband.co.uk you’ll be able to get updates specifically for your address. The buold is currently progressing fast despite the weather, with more than 300 homes added every week.

  6. Bob says:

    I went to sign up for Brawband but spotted on the final order page they have an acceptable use policy of just 1TB which is ridiculous for an FTTP product since you could burn through that in under two and a half hours on their top product. I can’t find any other FTTP company that has such a restrictive limit and even mobile phone companies offer 1TB or more on their data policies.

    Also apparently you are not allowed to use your own router even unsupported which is also frustrating.

    I had been extremely excited to finally get FTTP here but no way am I signing up to a two year contract with such such a crippling data restriction and router restrictions. It’s good to see though that other ISPs may be available in time.

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