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CityFibre to Start GBP42m FTTP Broadband Rollout in Gateshead UPDATE

Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 (12:00 pm) - Score 912
CityFibre Trencher machine

CityFibre has today announced that they’ve appointed civil engineering contractor GCU UK Ltd to lead the £42m rollout of a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the large North East England town of Gateshead (Tyne and Wear) and South Tyneside, which sits just over the River Tyne from Newcastle.

Construction work on the full fibre network, which will aim to reach “almost every home and business” in the town, will begin in February 2022. At its peak, the project could create up to 200 new construction jobs locally. As work is completed in each neighbourhood, ISPs will then gradually “light up the network” with some of the fastest and most affordable broadband packages available.

NOTE: Cityfibre is supported by various ISPs, such as Vodafone (Gigafast Broadband), TalkTalk (Future Fibre), Zen Internet, Giganet and others, but they aren’t all live or available in every location.. yet.

As usual, CityFibre has not said precisely how many premises will be passed by the new network or what the local completion date will be. But a closer look at the town reveals that most of their initial work will be taking place around the Felling, High Felling, Carr Hill and Felling Shore areas.

We should point out that GCU is a familiar contractor for CityFibre, since they’re also working on similar builds for the same operator in locations such as Inverness, Dundee and Aberdeen etc.

Jason Legget, Regional Partnership Director at CityFibre, said:

“We need brilliant builders to deliver our Full Fibre networks as seamlessly as possible. In GCU, we have found a partner who recognises the importance of this project, knows what is needed to deliver for the people of Gateshead and can grow with us as we move into new areas of the town.

Our vision may be a long-term one but, like full fibre itself, our roll outs are ultrafast and it won’t be long until the first households and businesses in Gateshead can experience best-in-class connectivity for themselves.”

As usual this rollout forms part of the operator’s wider £4bn investment programme, which has already covered 1 million UK premises with FTTP and aims to have 8 million “substantially completed” – across 285 cities, towns and villages (c.30% of the UK) – by the end of 2025 (here). This will also cover a total of around 800,000 businesses, 400,000 public sector sites and 250,000 5G access points.

CityFibre’s main gigabit-capable competitor in the town will be Virgin Media, although Openreach have started to deploy some FTTP, and we expect more of that in the future. Hyperoptic also has a small presence along the riverside areas, but they don’t seem to have gone much beyond that. Otherwise, the town looks to be a reasonable bet for CityFibre, given that there don’t seem to be too many rivals beyond the dominant players.

UPDATE 27th April 2022

The build has now begun and is due to complete in 2025. Construction of the £42m town-wide full fibre network began in the Bridges area of Gateshead.

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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.
Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Jazzy says:

    They haven’t even finished parts of Newcastle yet and already they’re over the other side of the water. My friend had City Fibre in his street 12 months ago and the cable network is still not active. Virgin came months later and he was activated within a month of them doing the works outside

    Openreach have cracked on with their network on my street NE3 5RP and we now have FTTP in the street so when my contract is up in May with Sky I will be looking to upgrade

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