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CityFibre Completes FTTP Broadband Rollout to Peterborough UK

Wednesday, May 18th, 2022 (12:47 pm) - Score 1,896
vodafone cityfibre ftth cable reels

CityFibre has today announced that their long-running £35m project to rollout a new full fibre (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the Cambridgeshire (England) city of Peterborough has now reached “primary” completion, which means that 67,000 homes and businesses (around 85% of the city) can now access gigabit speeds.

The original Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) deployment in the city started in July 2018 and the first homes were then connected during early 2019. All of those covered can now order related services via a number of supporting ISPs, such as Vodafone (Gigafast Broadband), TalkTalk (Future Fibre), Zen Internet, iDNET and Giganet.

NOTE: CityFibre has laid almost 700km of dense fibre infrastructure across the city.

We should point out that this is not the operator’s first completed deployment, with similar projects having also completed in locations such as Stirling and Milton Keynes. CityFibre now intends to continue to “densify and connect properties in multi-dwelling buildings and on private roads,” which are often left until last due to the challenges of securing the necessary legal permissions and access.

The deployments all form part of the operator’s wider £4bn investment programme, which has so far enabled their full fibre network to cover 1.5 million UK premises – with 1.3m Ready For Service (RFS) via a supporting ISPs (here). The main aim of this build is to cover “up to” 8 million premises –  across around 285 cities, towns and villages (c.30% of the UK) – by the end of 2025 (here).

Rebecca Stephens, Regional Partnership Director at CityFibre, said:

“Our rollout in Peterborough marks an exciting step forward for digital connectivity across the city. With the UK’s finest Full Fibre network under its streets, residents, businesses and public institutions will be able to reap the benefits for generations to come.

Peterborough is a city filled with ambition which is why it has always been such an important build for us. Full Fibre is vital for the UK market’s long-term growth, and we look forward to building on our previous success powering the city’s future economic development.”

Matthew Gladstone, CEO of Peterborough City Council, said:

“We’re proud that Peterborough has become one of the first completed Fibre-to-the-Premises rollout projects in the country and that our businesses and residents will be able to reap the huge benefits that this digital innovation will bring.

Secure, high-speed access to the internet is such vital part of the city’s infrastructure and, in the wake of the economic effects brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic, this CityFibre project plays a vital role in connecting our communities, businesses and residents like never before, helping them to rebound from this crisis and thrive into the future.”

Interestingly, this news comes only a day after Openreach (BT) finally added Peterborough to their own rollout plan, which means they’ll be playing catch-up with CityFibre for the next few years. On the other hand, they’re not the only gigabit-capable networks in the city, with Virgin Media having significant coverage and a few other altnets (e.g. Hyperoptic, OFNL) also holding a limited presence.

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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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23 Responses
  1. anonymous says:

    Once again wording making you think Peterborough has been done MOSTLY.

    The city centre maybe done, but Peterborough is a bigger place than just the centre of it, and places like PE6 just outside are not able to benefit from Cityfibre at all (not just speeds but pricing), despite it being dead easy to trench in roadside verges.

    1. Anon says:

      That will been the 15% then?

    2. Tony says:

      Where in PE6?

    3. TBC says:

      There will be a reason they haven’t gone there, most likely the way they design everything doesn’t incorporate a run off into thst area you are talking about.

      It will most likely get expanded into in the future.

    4. Peterborian says:

      Pretty sure most of us only recognise PE1-4 as being ‘Part of Peterborough City’, the rest is surrounding Villages or Towns in some form or another no matter how close They seem to be on the door step now (Farcet)

    5. An Engineer says:

      Unless the verges and pavements are really pretty big they’ll have to impinge on the road to dig in them. As soon as they do that traffic management becomes a thing. That gets expensive pretty quickly.

    6. Thomas Pleasance says:

      Im in PE2 and its not here :/

  2. New_Londoner says:

    So that’s a decade or thereabouts to get to ~85% coverage in the UK’s 37th largest city by population?

    1. Josh says:

      Is it not 4 years-ish if they started in July 2018?

    2. NE555 says:

      Erm, it’s only 4 years since July 2018. Not bad considering there was Covid in the middle.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      I got my dates slightly wrong, City Fibre began construction in Peterborough in 2013 – I thought it was 2011. So nine years rather than a decade. Either way, the company began its build well before 2018.

    4. David says:

      The Peterborough build started in July 2018, not 2013

    5. TBC says:

      Cityfibre have just overtaken or about to overtake virgin for FTTP in the ground depending on who you listen to.

      Not bad considering they only had a handful of cities in build at the start of 2019

    6. An Engineer says:

      Think New_Londoner is basing the timescale on when CityFibre started building the metro ring in Peterborough.

      By that metric BT/Openreach are taking decades to complete FTTP given some ducts and poles have been there for a pretty long time.

      The difference in route meters of fibre and passive infrastructure between the metro network and a full city FTTP build is huge.

    7. New_Londoner says:

      People are questioning when City Fibre started its build in Peterborough. The company issued a press release on 29th October 2013 stating that it was deploying to Peterborough’s major business districts (phase 1) and then to “up to 60,000 homes” (phase 2).

      See https://cityfibre.com/news/cityfibre-selects-peterborough-for-multi-million-pound-gigabit-city-investment

      Any suggestion that it started deployment in Peterborough in 2018 is clearly wrong.

    8. Alex says:

      Lol ‘New_Londoner’ laying down facts in a post truth world.

    9. An Engineer says:

      FTTH programme started July 9th 2018 according to, let me check, CityFibre.

      https://cityfibre.com/news/breaking-ground-on-peterboroughs-digital-transformation

      Still if we’re including 90 route kilometre long metro networks used to supply DIA, requiring a dig to every premises to serve them as no drops, as part of FTTP PON builds Openreach are dragging their feet in cities with multiple exchanges. Decades they’ve been at it in those.

    10. An Engineer says:

      Certainly a post-truth world, Alex.

  3. New_Londoner says:

    @An Engineer
    Presumably that’s the same CityFibre that also claimed that the deployment started in 2013 in the link that I provided above? Just because they re-announced the Peterborough programme in 2018 doesn’t mean that they hadn’t already claimed to have started it back in 2013.

    The 2013 announcement was not just for a metro ring, which you would realise if you read the press release via the provided link. In that release, their CEO is quoted as saying:

    “The first stage of our deployment will include the major commercial districts of the city, covering over 4,000 businesses, all of whom will benefit from gigabit level speeds and services. The second phase will bring that same level of speed to up to 60,000 homes, making Peterborough truly a Gigabit city.”

    A network covering 4,000 business premises and up to 60,000 homes is rather more than a 90km metro network. Or are you suggesting that the claims being made by CityFibre in the 2013 press release were false?

    1. David says:

      That’s a press release.

      It clearly states business as phase 1 and residential as future phase 2.

      Phase 2 was announced in 2018. The build for phase 2 started in 2018.

    2. An Engineer says:

      ‘A network covering 4,000 business premises and up to 60,000 homes is rather more than a 90km metro network. Or are you suggesting that the claims being made by CityFibre in the 2013 press release were false?’

      Certainly is. Just as well the press release didn’t say that the 90km metro network was intended to cover that. From your own link.

      ‘The company will initially invest in over 90km of fibre infrastructure, ensuring the new network passes 80% of Peterborough’s businesses.’

      You weren’t actually correct on when the Peterborough CORE (their name not mine) started construction by the way, it was 2014, and CityFibre themselves describe it as follows:

      ‘The Peterborough CORE is a pure fibre network, built by CityFibre to serve Peterborough’s business community with next generation gigabit internet connectivity.

      The Peterborough CORE network is designed to underpin and make possible the eventual roll-out of a city-wide fibre-to-the-premises network.’

      https://cityfibre.com/news/construction-begins-on-gigabit-fibre-network-for-peterborough

      You’ll also note, as I said earlier, that construction is required to connect business to the network.

      By your definition, being generous, the Openreach FTTP deployments started when phase 1, the deployment of aggregation nodes and fibre into the field to support street-side cabinets and underpin future FTTP build, began. As I’m sure you’re aware they were built to be able to handle cabinets and FTTP simultaneously, as were the OLTs, ODFs, etc.

      Taking a while, innit? Anyone would think they, like CityFibre, built out some facilitating infrastructure to support other uses and then started the actual FTTP build later on.

  4. Optimist says:

    A while ago I registered with CF and today I received an email from them with news about the rollout – “We’re building your brand new CityFibre network”.

    What intrigued me was the subject of the email – “DR5 Update Email Dummy”. Does that refer to their system, or to enquirers?

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