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CityFibre Begin FTTP Broadband Rollout in Wath Upon Dearne

Thursday, Aug 17th, 2023 (12:05 pm) - Score 1,904

Network operator CityFibre has today announced that they’ve begun a £31.2m project to deploy their 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / XGS-PON) broadband ISP network across the South Yorkshire town of Wath Upon Dearne, which is home to a local population of around 12,000. But it’ll go further than that.

The level of committed investment seems quite high for a town of this size, although a clue to the reason for this can be found in the announcement, which confusingly states that the operator “started construction works in the town’s Swinton area“. Except, Swinton is actually a separate town that directly neighbours Wath Upon Dearne and is home to an even bigger population of around 16,000.

NOTE: Cityfibre is supported by ISPs such as Vodafone, TalkTalk, Zen Internet, Giganet, AAISP, and others, but they aren’t all live or available in every location yet.

In terms of CityFibre’s competition in the area. Virgin Media has already deployed a gigabit-capable network across most of both towns, albeit while leaving quite a big gap in Swinton. By comparison, Openreach has some very limited FTTP coverage across both towns, and they don’t seem to be very active right now. We’ve also noted that MS3 appear to have a significant build in both locations.

Locally, the rollout itself is being completed by street works firm Heneghan & Sons.

Charles Kitchin, CityFibre’s Partnership Manager for Wath upon Dearne, said:

“I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Wath upon Dearne 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 years to come.”

The work forms part of the operator’s wider aspiration to cover up to 8 million UK premises (funded by c.£2.4bn in equity and c.£4.9bn debt) – across over 285 cities, towns and villages (c.30% of the UK) – by the end of 2025 (here). CityFibre has so far passed 2.9 million homes (up from 2.6m in late March 2023), but only 2.5 million of those are currently considered to be fully Ready for Service by an ISP (up from 2.3m).

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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25 Responses
  1. Avatar photo James says:

    Someone purporting to be a Cityfibre employee stated that CF are changing their plans, pausing builds in some areas and moving resources/funds to focus on rural locations through the BDUK scheme.

    Does anyone know if this is true?

    1. Avatar photo BTMan says:

      It is. I am also a CF employee working in a town called Darton and we have been told the rollout will stop at the end of September. I reckon around 55% of the original plans will be covered.

    2. Avatar photo Don't get it says:

      I don’t get it, if cityfibre are abandoning builds halfway through, why are they starting new builds?

    3. Avatar photo Wayne says:

      Wonder if they have done this in Suffolk down my road??
      They have installed 4 cabinets in the street but nothing else…
      So now we have 4 cabinets redundant.

    4. Avatar photo Rob says:

      So if Cityfibre are stopping their rollout at the end of September, I guess they’ll be another round of redundancies.

  2. Avatar photo Rob says:

    Considering CF’s track record, I wish the contractors Heneghan & Sons the best of luck.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

  3. Avatar photo D says:

    I live in swinton but i’m about a kilometer away from Wath. We’ve had Openreach vans on the street digging today. Not seen Heneghan but i have seen MS3 working just up the road.

    I’d love it if they’d hurry up and let me order gigabit, FTTC is fine but a faster speed would be very much welcome from everyone in the house

  4. Avatar photo XGS says:

    Even for all 28,000 premises, both of the towns combined, that’s a lot of money.

    Quite a way from the original plans of sub-£500 per premises passed.

    1. Avatar photo Why? says:

      Why does it cost Cityfibre so much per premises?

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      It does look high. I wonder how much of that cost is for the backhaul and their fibre exchange?

      I know they do a lot of digging unlike their competitors who avoid anything that can’t be done using PIA. Not sure why.

    3. Avatar photo HGW says:


      By the way that’s a combined population of 28,000 people, not premises.

      28k population equates to approximately 11,500 premises.

      So cost per premises is even higher than you thought.

      It seems ridiculously high.

    4. Avatar photo Chris says:

      £31.2m to cover 11,500 premises.

      That makes £2,700 per premises!

      Surely that can’t be right?

    5. Avatar photo Jim says:

      Netomnia have just announced they’re doing a build covering 85,000 premises for a project cost of £25.5 million.

      That’s £300 per premises.

      That’s a bit of a difference!

    6. Avatar photo FibreEng says:

      Netomnia barely finish their builds though Jim, they use rack space in BT exchanges and strictly PIA only hence cheaper build.

      CF builds require FEX exchanges and equipment required to support multiple ISPs and they cable all their network with diverse routes hence the extra cost.

    7. Avatar photo Jim says:


      Thanks for the info, I understand that, but how can Cityfibre make it profitable?

    8. Avatar photo Greg says:


      They can’t make it profitable at that cost per premises, but they don’t care, it’s not their money their pumping in, it’s the investors money.

    9. Avatar photo Insider says:

      @greg hate all you like but costs do work otherwise it wouldn’t be happening.

      The number of premises quoted here is quite wrong

    10. Avatar photo Jon says:

      @Insider – How can you say the costs work? Cityfibre haven’t even made any profit yet.

      The current take-up rate is no where near enough to make any profit, still a long way to go.

    11. Avatar photo John H says:

      …and meanwhile they just keep pumping more and more money in.

      Last I read Cityfibre were burning through £4 million a week.

    12. Avatar photo Milking it says:

      I would imagine the fat cats are hanging in there, milking as many months hefty salaries as possible, before the investors cotton on and pull the plug.

    13. Avatar photo The missing millions says:

      I can see the title of a Hollywood blockbuster…

      “Cityfibre’s missing millions”.

      Cityfibre reported an operating loss of £210m last year, almost double from 2021’s £114m.

  5. Avatar photo mike says:

    Can they not finish Norwich?

    Pod-Tek Networks have been out and made good any unfinished works, but have not progressed them. Clearly they have ditched Telec.

    I need to leave Virgin Media. Now.

  6. Avatar photo Kyle Reese Bell says:

    Still no darfield yet, What a joke.

  7. Avatar photo Christopher says:

    That’s alot of mixed messages coming out of Cityfibre at the moment.

    Seems quite chaotic.

    I hope they know which direction they’re heading in, even if no one else knows.

  8. Avatar photo Swampy says:

    Living in Wath, I’ve seen MS3 digging up my street as few months back… now they’ve been back installing loads of really tall telegraph poles, they must be half as tall again as the BT poles in the area…

    Whatever the cost, I’m surprised it’s happening given the widespread availability of Virgin Media 1Gb in this area (plus the usual FTTC suppliers)… it’s also a pretty ‘deprived’ area overall, if it’s much over the ‘normal’ range for typical broadband £30-£40 I can’t see there being massive uptake.

    City Fibre, I’ve not seen doing all that much within the residential areas… they’ve mostly been digging up the roads in and around the nearby business parks/light industrial areas…

Comments are closed

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