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CityFibre UK Starts 1Gbps Fibre Broadband Rollout in Bath

Monday, June 7th, 2021 (10:38 am) - Score 2,256
cityfibre street works engineer fttp

CityFibre has today announced the start of their “city-wide” £25m investment to deploy a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the Somerset city of Bath, but they’ll be entering into an increasingly competitive market with several other gigabit-capable rivals.

As usual this deployment forms part of their wider £4bn programme, which 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 8m target aims to be “substantially completed” by the end of 2025, and they may yet extend it to 10m premises (here).

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 civil engineering side of this rollout is being conducted by Kier Group, which are also working with CF on similar builds in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Worcester and Weston-Super-Mare. The first premises to benefit from this will be in the Weston area of the city (likely to go live later this year) and the full deployment should complete by the end of 2023.

Each area in the city will usually take a few weeks to complete and construction teams will typically only be outside each home for 2-3 days. CityFibre will be in touch by post ahead of any work starting.

Neil Madle, CityFibre’s City Manager for Bath, said:

“Bath is a historic city most often associated with the likes of Jane Austen and its Roman Baths, but it’s also a forward-looking area with one of the fastest growing tech economies in the UK. I’m immensely proud to see work getting underway in Bath today as it means businesses and residents will soon have access to the best infrastructure available. 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 and underpin the city’s digital ambitions.”

However, CityFibre’s announcement comes only a week after rival operator Truespeed confirmed the start of their own FTTP build for Bath (here), which will also include the surrounding areas of Keynsham, Saltford and South Widcombe. On top of that the city has already been partly covered by Virgin Media’s gigabit-capable network and Openreach have separately been expanding their FTTP rollout too.

Bath is a beautiful location, although it’s not as densely packed as some cities, and it thus remains unclear whether the area can support four gigabit-capable rivals in close proximity. Much may depend upon how much those operators either avoid or overbuild each other.

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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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10 Responses
  1. optical says:

    That’s brilliant news,hopefully we will see Cityfibre in Bathampton,I’m desperate for a decent connection,as OR will not fix my underground line fault,which results in numerous disconnections most days,all depends on the amount of traffic using road.

  2. Eci sufferer says:

    They are hacking up the pavements along locksbrook today lol… installed the cabinet about 2 weeks ago. Going over the same stretch as virgin media only a few months ago. Just need truespeed along there as well for the hat trick 🙂

    1. Optical says:

      Spotted Cityfibre laying fibre at Weston Road by golf course today.
      No Virgin at Bathampton yet,but I prefer to have City fibre as it’s supported by various ISP’s,so no need to change ISP to get their fibre package unlike Truespeed.

  3. A_Londoner_ says:

    /wave City Fibre, SW London says “Hi!”, heck any fibre provider SW London says “Hi!” …

  4. RN says:

    CityFibre keep announcing all these new areas but we never get any timescales of expectations for these new towns and cities.

    It was said all civils will be awarded to local companies to keep costs low, ie preventing the need to pay for hotels for the workers.

    Since each roadworks team is appointed ‘locally’ there is absolutely no reason why all the announced areas cannot be started simultaneously as soon as they are announced.

    We are being told to hold our breath until 2025-2026 when suddenly all areas will magically be completed from 0% to 100% overnight with absolutely no interim progress possible.

    Whoever is running CityFibre, this is a total shambles for potential new customer areas. AND CityFibre is already installed in people’s streets for 2+ years and still no customers can get connected. What a waste of a magnificent opportunity. What is going on?

    I suspect their mismanagement is costing them millions in lost connections as people realise OpenReach aren’t so bad afterall after having “a CityFibre experience”

    1. CarlT says:

      I’m sure there must be an issue in your area specifically as the rest just isn’t accurate. CF can and do bring areas online as soon as they reasonably can.

      See Think Broadband’s maps and compare with ongoing roadworks.

      Folks would demand specific timescales for their streets. If these were missed they’d go whinging to the Advertising Standards Agency as people did during the Openreach FTTC rollout.

      Those are the people to blame for the lack of granular timescales. If you notice no-one gives any specifics.

  5. Sonic says:

    I don’t understand the logic of this. Why start FTTP rollout in a city that already has THREE other players on the scene? So many other cities (like mine) has nothing on the horizon.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      A big enough city can support 3-4 gigabit networks, although it’s currently unclear whether that rule would apply to a place like Bath. My guess is CityFibre will try to build faster than Openreach and Truespeed have been doing, so as to secure some local market position. After all, a promise to build is not as valuable as the actual delivery. We also don’t know if OR and TS will cover the whole of the city, or only certain parts.

    2. Sonic says:

      Thanks Mark, fair point. But wouldn’t it make a lot more business sense to be the first to build FTTP in a city/town with zero competition?

      Also, if you have competing vendors on a single area/street, will that mean doubling up of fibre runs or is there some kind of sharing agreement in place?

    3. AndyRed3D says:

      Also the 90% of people in Bath outside the main city centre have been waiting for this for years. But we continue to trundle along on crap BT-OR lines, scraping along at 10 – 17Mbps if you’re lucky, even making Netflix a challenge sometimes. So I think Mark’s right, we’re pretty much in the same position as you, as the other contenders seem so flippin slow they’re irrelevant anyway.

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