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CityFibre Preps 1Gbps FTTP Rollout in Bracknell and Maidenhead

Monday, Mar 8th, 2021 (3:31 pm) - Score 3,616

CityFibre UK has today confirmed that they will soon start work on their £34 million project to deploy a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the Berkshire (England) towns of Bracknell (£20m) and Maidenhead (£14m), with both being expected to reach completion during 2024.

As usual the “city-wide” rollout forms part of their £4bn investment programme (here and here), which currently aims to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 (they’ve already done 500,000 premises) and then 8 million across 100+ cities and towns (c.30% of the UK) – the latter target is planned 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.

Construction of the new network will be handled by established contractor VolkerSmart Technologies (they’re also working with CF in Slough and Swindon). The first build is due to commence in less than 2 weeks’ time for Bracknell, while the rollout in Maidenhead is planned to get underway during mid-April 2021.

The Jennett’s Park area will be the first location in Bracknell where construction work will take place, with Kidwells Park chosen as the location for the first build site in Maidenhead. The two contracts involve excavating a total of 280km of trenches – 170,000 metres in Bracknell and 110,000 metres in Maidenhead.

Stacey King, CityFibre’s City Manager for the Thames Valley, said:

“I’m immensely excited that work is ready to begin in Bracknell and Maidenhead, as well as proud to see the progress that is being made across the region. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the Thames Valley as it gets ready to thrive in the digital age.

“It’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term – once the network’s built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs for decades to come.”

As usual Cityfibre can expect to face a number of gigabit-capable broadband rivals in both towns, with Virgin Media being the dominant player. Meanwhile, Openreach (BT), Glide and Hyperoptic also have a number of FTTP/B builds in both towns, albeit not to a significant level of coverage (Openreach also has a fair bit of slower G.fast in the two areas). We should add that Gigaclear exists in some nearby communities, just outside the towns.

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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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10 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Anna says:

    Well that will force VM to up their upload.. As they are already there with 1GB

    1. Avatar photo Jon says:

      VM are in for a world of hurt when this is live in the towns that are getting it.

      The pricing is better, the products are better, the technology is better – and it’s safe to assume that the customer service is better too.

      For many years Virgin Media has had an effective monopoly on speed – especially in many areas where Openreach was slow to deploy even VSDL/FTTC. They’ve thoroughly abused that in terms of failure to innovate both technically and commercially, and as such I don’t think many will feel the need to stay out of loyalty.

      Some lucky folks will soon be able to get both Openreach and CityFibre FTTP as well as Virgin Media.

      Times are changing…

    2. Avatar photo yeehaa says:

      I believe VM are planning to upgrade their upstream speeds to EuroDOCSIS 3.1 once they complete the downstream speeds to version 3.1 across the network.

    3. Avatar photo Jon says:

      @yeehaa whilst that is the plan, it doesn’t address a number of other issues – the biggest being latency. Indeed, Virgin media could increase upload speeds already where there is appropriate backhaul and aggregation bandwidth.

      DOCSIS is pretty terrible for providing low-latency service due to the way it operates, though things such as DOCSIS 3.1 with LLD and remote-PHY can help a little.

      LLD can be applied fairly easily by comparison with a software update, but it is for the most part a kludge using more aggressive queue management and media sharing schemes. Remote-PHY on the other hand is expensive and requires substantial changes, but the benefits are more concrete.

      There are then also the other issues such as IPv6 implementation, which has been a total joke, and the issues with the Hub3 hardware which took so long to resolve too. In both cases getting Virgin Media to acknowledge the situation and provide any information was almost impossible!

      The fact that all this sort of thing comes with a premium price tag attached is not likely to sway people once the competition is available.

  2. Avatar photo Jordan says:

    Vivacom Bulgaria is offering already up to 10G symmetric services for the residential users and up to 1G service for 1.2 M households already over 8 years. What’s the news here?

    1. Avatar photo GNewton says:

      @Jordan: You are dealing here in the UK with a country that is more than a decade behind of where it should be in terms of fibre broadband. This is a result of longstanding wrong government policies and a “Can’t Do” culture. Fibre should be treated like any other vital utility. There are still people here who believe that private competing companies alone can do it all, even though it’s evident they don’t.

    2. Avatar photo The Facts says:

      How and how much should the government invest in FTTP to every property?

  3. Avatar photo Murylo Batista says:

    Jannwts park , while old Bracknell still sucks with the 50 mb connection near the town centre and sport centre

    1. Avatar photo Gary says:

      To be fair Jennetts Park, being a new development, most likely already have the underground ducting in place so it’s much easier to lay new fibre cable.

      Older areas like Easthampstead will involve digging!

  4. Avatar photo fsociety3765 says:

    When will work start on Crown Wood in Bracknell???

    Seriously, this can’t come soon enough!!


Comments are closed

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