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CityFibre UK Start GBP5m FTTP Broadband Rollout in Town of March

Monday, January 10th, 2022 (10:58 am) - Score 4,080
CityFibre Fibre Blow

CityFibre has today confirmed that they’re investing £5 million to extend their gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network to reach “thousands of premises” in the Cambridgeshire (England) town of March, which is currently home to over 22,000 people.

Construction of the new “town-wide full fibre network” is said to have already begun and is being delivered by the Granemore Group, CityFibre’s civil engineering contractor for the local build. A quick look at the local build plans shows that the operator will be quite active across various parts of the town this month, which suggests that it might be quite a rapid rollout.

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.

The rollout forms part of CityFibre’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.

Each area will usually take a few weeks to complete, however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days.

Rebecca Stephens, CityFibre’s City Manager for March, said:

“I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in March. 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.”

Chris Boden, Leader of Fenland District Council, said:

“It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering its £5m infrastructure investment programme in March, which will deliver a town-wide network that will benefit residents, businesses and services alike. This is a once in a generation upgrade that will futureproof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important.”

As usual, CityFibre won’t be the only gigabit-capable broadband network in town, with Virgin Media (VMO2) having already reached most of the local premises. Openreach (BT) has also deployed a little bit of FTTP, but we haven’t seen March appear on their wider rollout plan.. yet.

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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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11 Responses
  1. Mark Jackson says:

    A major national network builder with an ambition to cover millions of premises by 2025 does not do such a build in serial (one by one), it must do it in parallel across multiple locations at the same time in order to achieve its targets. This is normal for any operator with grander ambitions.

  2. Ackers87 says:

    They Need sort there Halifax project out fed up for slow crap internet should of started thins month

    1. Ad says:

      As per my comment to Damien above, the same applies here. The CityFibre Halifax build was going to be with NMCM but they called in the administrators in October.

      Not seen anything saying who is now going to be building, hopefully their will be an announcement and build will start soon.

  3. Chris says:

    So that probably will explain the install team outside my window at 8am this morning pulling new aerial cable (or fibre tubing) between telegraph poles… I did comment which one of the neighbours was so cheesed off with the poor speed from the end of the line FTTC that they had resort to getting their employer to install an Ethernet circuit based on the striped cable the were using, I had assumed they were working for Openreach but I’m suspecting not in that case and guess it was CF’s people.

    I wasn’t really sure expecting the CF rollout to be anytime soon but hey I’m not going to complain about the ability to ditch the quite 35/7mbit FTTC (which ironically used to be 80/20 when it first went in before being crucified by crosstalk) – Virgin’s equally asymmetrical FTTP never really attracted me hugely when it was upload that was the real pain point.

  4. HeavyBod says:

    It’s a different story when they tell you the approximate date for your area then the crews evaporate.

  5. Ad says:

    @Damien – I assume you are aware that the contractor (NMCM) that CityFibre were using for Barnsley went bust? That is why you would have seen the teams on the ground evaporate. Annoying but outside of their control.

    ISP Review covered both that and the news at the end of last year that CityFibre have now signed up Svella Connect to take over the build, which should be starting again shortly. https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2021/12/svella-connect-takes-over-cityfibres-fttp-rollout-in-barnsley.html

    My understanding was it wasn’t anything related to CityFibre that caused the issues at NMCM, but there will be a lot of mess to sort out and get the new team up and building. Svella Connect were the company that took on the telecommunications part of NMCMs business.

  6. Paul says:

    Since CF made the announcement last year of their upcoming coverage, I guess it will remain silent in those areas until CF break ground? There really is not much detail on their website or elsewhere from what I can see since?

  7. James says:

    Great to see more locations covered by the CF network.

    They really need to work on their communication though, installation in my area (Sheffield) started in summer alongside Openreach utilising existing poles alongside new cables in the ground. While all the major groundworks where complete by sept it took until December for the network to show as available on their checker and even now no ISP’s can actually order it who I have contacted, presumably a lack of installation engineers.

    I understand rolling out the network takes time but simply providing more information as to the status wouldn’t hurt (they must have this internally). huge missed opportunity for marketing given all the vans / workers and signage about to give people useful information, all I’ve had was a letter saying ground works would start (after they had).

  8. Luuta says:

    “Openreach (BT) has also deployed a little bit of FTTP” . Have to laugh at that “little bit”. They’re supposed to be the original, premier telecommunications company in Britain, but they’ve deployed so little FTTP, it doesn’t even show up on the chart! Why am I not surprised?

    1. anonymous says:

      Which chart? If a national one it’s pretty poor if it can’t show 20%. If a local one March isn’t the be all and end all.

  9. anonymous says:

    CityFibre restarted FTTH work in Barnsley today, 13th January.

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