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CityFibre Start £42m FTTP Broadband Rollout for Middlesbrough

Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 (11:05 am) - Score 1,560
CityFibre Fibre Blow

After a bit of a delay, CityFibre has confirmed that their local civil engineering partner, MAP Group (UK), has finally started work to rollout a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network across the large North Yorkshire (England) town of Middlesbrough – costing £42m.

The physical build was originally due to start in December 2020, but perhaps because of the recent COVID-19 lockdown it’s now starting a few months later. The first fibre is currently going into the ground around the Brambles Farm and Thorntree areas.

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.

Each area usually takes a few weeks to complete and construction teams will typically only be outside each home for 2-3 days (CityFibre usually notifies residents about this ahead of time). Assuming all goes to plan, then the overall project is expected to reach completion by 2024, but the first services will go live sometime this year.

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.

Steph Carter-Smith, CityFibre’s City Manager for Middlesbrough, said:

“I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Middlesbrough today. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Middlesbrough 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 the operator won’t have Middlesbrough all to itself. In terms of gigabit-capable rivals, cable operator Virgin Media already covers the vast majority of the town and Openreach’s FTTP is present in a few smaller areas. At the time of writing we don’t yet know which ISPs will initially be offering service over CF’s network in the town.

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