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CityFibre Update on Project Gigabit FTTP Build Progress in England

Thursday, Sep 21st, 2023 (12:37 pm) - Score 5,504
CityFibre Enginers Over Trench

CityFibre has announced that they’ve awarded their “first round of contracts” to civil engineering firms under their state-aid supported Project Gigabit broadband rollout contracts in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hampshire and Suffolk. The deployments will bring full fibre (FTTP) lines to a total of 715,000 extra rural properties.

The operator, which is supported by ISPs like Vodafone, TalkTalk, Giganet and more, already covers 3 million UK premises (2.7m RFS) with full fibre – mostly in urban areas – via their commercial rollout and their ambition is to cover up to 8m (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).

NOTE: CityFibre is based in London and is owned by Antin Infrastructure Partners, Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Mubadala Investment Company and Interogo Holding.

However, since March 2023, they’ve also secured four major contracts under the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit scheme – here and here, which reflects a combined public investment of £387m. This is being supported by an additional private investment from CityFibre of £223m to help reach even more premises in the same regions.

The construction phase for all this is due to commence in Cambridgeshire from October 2023 (the rest are due to follow in early 2024). The big news today is that CityFibre has appointed the Granemore Group in Cambridgeshire, OCU Group and CCN Communications in Hampshire, OCU Group in Norfolk, and Telelink, OCU Group and Granemore Group in Suffolk to help conduct the street works.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said:

“We’re excited to get our Project Gigabit rollouts underway, bringing faster and more reliable broadband connectivity to hundreds of thousands of rural homes and businesses areas that were at risk of missing out. With the legacy copper networks in these areas soon to be made obsolete, we look forward to providing all Internet Service Providers a powerful new network from which to better serve their customers.”

Deploying into rural areas is often much more challenging for operators like CityFibre, which have traditionally tended to focus on relatively quick and easy urban builds. As such, it will be interesting to see how much progress they make over the next few years, although this is something they’ve been planning to do for a long time and the level of investment involved is a fair indication that they understand the costs.

Nevertheless, we still wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cost per premises passed ended up being higher than currently forecast, which is an issue that other networks have run in to before with such contracts. Time will tell.

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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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15 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Jack says:

    Still don’t know what’s happening here. The project has been paused regarding the work that was being done by Lanes-I.

    Yesterday, BID posted some works throughout October and November but I’m assuming it’s not the same build teams.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Lanes-i are not, from my knowledge, involved with any of CityFibre’s Project Gigabit contracts. I think you may be confusing those with their separate commercial builds.

  2. Avatar photo FTTP says:

    No news on when CF will start work again in Bath.

    1. Avatar photo Anon says:

      This article is nothing to do with their commercial builds. Bath is not project gigabit.

    2. Avatar photo Combedowner says:

      They started combe down area months ago but haven’t finished it off. Can see the connector block on the pole outside but they have absolutely no idea when it will be live to place an order….

  3. Avatar photo mike says:

    Is OCU Group continuing work in Norwich or are they contracted for a build elsewhere in Norfolk?

  4. Avatar photo J Irons says:

    Any informational available on where exactly in Cambridgeshire they will be rolling out to?

  5. Avatar photo Danielle Powell says:

    Wish they would pull there finger out in the Bradford area they are responsible for… Fibre all round me and much of Bradford apart from BD2

    1. Avatar photo Danielle Powell says:

      *their stupid tablet

  6. Avatar photo Lee says:

    I’ve heard a lot of their build in the South West has been suspended.

  7. Avatar photo John says:

    Cityfibre seem to be a bit chaotic, starting new builds here and there, whilst also pausing current builds or stopping them completely.

    Difficult to understand where they’re heading business wise.

    1. Avatar photo CJ says:

      They have signed contracts for the project gigabit work so they have to deliver what they promised. Not everyone will like it, but it’s very clear where they’re heading business wise: project gigabit contracts are their top priority now.

  8. Avatar photo Carl says:

    As mentioned in the article, as a contractor myself on fibre network builds, the cost per premises (the total cost of the build divided by how many premises the network serves) is increasing, and that not all going into contractors pockets, the costs of machinery, the upkeep, the fuel all also plays a large part in the costs, it has seen a lot of small ISPs being stuck at getting subscribers onto their networks and then hitting cash flow issues creating pressure and fir companies to go under.

  9. Avatar photo Sean Painer says:

    Cityfibre have stopped in Worcester as well, not sure if they will finish the job.

    1. Avatar photo George says:

      Strange how we don’t see any announcements from Cityfibre explaining why they’re stopping all these builds…?

Comments are closed

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