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CityFibre and Telent Start Blackpool’s Gigabit Broadband Rollout

Monday, April 19th, 2021 (10:13 am) - Score 2,208
cityfibre fttp street build and fencing uk

CityFibre and their civil engineering partner Telent have today broken ground on a new £60m project in the Lancashire seaside town of Blackpool, which aims to deploy a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network to cover nearly all local homes and businesses.

The project forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn investment programme, which ultimately aims to cover 1 million UK premises with their alternative FTTP network by the end of 2021 (over 650,000 have already been reached) and then 8 million premises across 285 cities, towns and villages – c.30% of the UK (here). 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 cover 85%+ of premises in each town or city they target.

Work in Blackpool has now started in the Moor Park area of Bispham and the entire project is expected to be finished by the end of 2024. We note that Telent is also supporting some of CityFibre’s other builds, such as in Chester and Preston.

Steve Thorpe, CityFibre’s City Manager for Blackpool, said:

“I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Blackpool today. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the town 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.”

In terms of gigabit-capable rivals, the town is already extremely well covered by Virgin Media’s network, while Openreach also have a small bit of FTTP in other parts of the town. On top of that Yayzi Broadband via the ITS Technology group are also deploying in the town and WeFibre (Telcom) have plans for the area too.

Like some of the other deployments named above, CityFibre’s deployment is similarly designed to complement the Blackpool & Fylde Coast full fibre network.

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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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12 Responses
  1. Asking For a Friend says:

    Where does the statement “The operator usually aims to cover 85%+ of premises in each town or city they target” come from? You mention it in all the CityFibre news stories, is it on the CF website somewhere or just mentioned in their press releases?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      A figure of 80-85% has been used a few times back when they first started, as well as to me since then. So when they say “nearly” or “almost” all premises then we tend to translate that as around 85%.

  2. Ig Og says:

    So Blackpool gets four+ companies, most places get none.

    1. Josh Welby says:

      Including in most Parts in London like Edgware, Harrow
      and surrounding areas

  3. Zak says:

    Preston’s CityFibre rollout still scheduled to start early May? And does anyone know how long it takes for ISPs on the back of CF’s network (i.e. Zen Internet) to start offering their services? Really interested in Zen’s synchronous 900Mb package so I’m waiting eagerly here in Preston 😀

    1. A Bloke in Glasgow says:

      I’ve seen CF digging around Glasgow for at least six months, maybe nine. There’s no sign of anyone being offered service yet. Maybe Preston, being a smaller city, will be quicker. I think Stirling took a year of build.

  4. Ben says:

    Mark, do you know if the City Fibre rollout in Blackpool also includes the other Fylde Coast towns of Cleveleys, Poulton-le-Fylde and Fleetwood?

    1. Liam says:

      Hi Ben,

      I can confirm it does cover Fleetwood, Cleveleys, Thornton and Poulton

  5. CarlT says:

    CityFibre seem to be trying a few things out with their deployments.

    In Leeds they starting off doing all their own trenching, then moved to hybrid trenches, own poles and Openreach ducts and poles via PIA.

    Now in at least one area they seem to be doing their own ducts but not building the lateral cuts and drops to individual premises: presumably when a customer orders they’ll complete the civils work then.

    This is what they did for their metro rings and businesses.

    Either they’re pessimistic about uptake so are reducing build costs somewhat, need to get the main build done as quickly as possible to move those crews onto the next one, costs are spiraling or any combination of those and other things.

    Doing it this way reduces time and, therefore, cost of the initial civils work substantially.

  6. Randy says:

    looks like they blocked that poor fella in on the picture. imagine waking up and you can’t get your car off the drive lol.

    1. JB says:

      CityFibre would have done a door drop and/or called on each property to give the residents plenty of notice, as it’s in their interests not to upset potential customers. I’d be more worried by the site setup. This is probably a stock photo rather than from the actual site, but it looks to be a pretty horrific example.

  7. David gregson says:

    I live in a flat in mereside just above the shops In Blackpool I can only get speeds up to 36 meg is their any plans for faster broadband for flats coming anytime soon as well?

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