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Cityfibre Complete Rollout of FTTP Broadband in Southend-on-Sea

Friday, Dec 15th, 2023 (9:21 am) - Score 1,400

Network operator CityFibre has announced that they’ve completed their £51m project to deploy a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network across the city of Southend-on-Sea (Essex), which originally began in 2019 and has now covered over 70,000 premises (RFS).

The operator is understood to have since laid almost 1,000km of dense full fibre infrastructure across the city and claims to have achieved 90% coverage, although they’re also exploring the possibility of reaching further areas in the future, such as “new build properties, those on private or unadopted roads and business parks.” But it is interesting to note that they ended up spending £51m on the build, which is a lot more than the £30m originally committed (rising build costs have been a big problem for network operators this year).

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

The work supports CityFibre’s wider ambitions 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). The operator has already passed over 3 million homes (RFS).

Neil Madle, Partnership Manager for Southend-on-Sea at CityFibre, said:

“We’re thrilled that the primary-build of our full fibre network in Southend-on-Sea is now completed, marking an exciting new chapter for the city as it becomes one of the best-connected places in the UK.

Now equipped with lightning-fast and highly reliable connectivity, the local community stands ready to reap the many productivity and innovation benefits that full fibre offers – we’re excited to watch as Southend-on-Sea makes the most of this new infrastructure.”

In terms of gigabit-capable competition, both Virgin Media and Openreach already have significant coverage of the city, although it should be noted that CityFibre’s coverage is much broader than either of those two. Hyperoptic also has a few small patches of coverage around some of the area’s high rise apartment blocks.

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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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22 Responses
  1. Avatar photo D says:

    Cityfibre, partly owned by the UAE government who recently welcomed the war criminal Vladimir Putin with open arms…

    “Mr Putin was greeted in the UAE with a full cavalry escort and motorcade while a national aerobatics team drew the Russian flag in the sky with smoke trails”.

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      IDK why people insist on bringing up Mubadala constantly for Cityfibre.

      Go look at what they own, there’s so much stuff you can be upset about, and you’re worried where private equity is coming from?

      If anything large PE buying in should give them a solid foundation of cash and they’re also usually pretty flexible when it comes to getting money back in my experience (e.g. will happily delay getting load payments, because they end up with much more return – just delayed)

      But they have investments in healthcare, tech, insurance… like most large PE they’re pretty indiscriminate on country or company.

    2. Avatar photo D says:

      @Matt You’d understand if you’d ever worked at Cityfibre.

      Cityfibre also proudly supports it’s own LGBTQ+ network, meanwhile the UAE government imprison people just for being homosexual.

      All very hypocritical.

    3. Avatar photo XGS says:

      A couple of disgruntled ex-employees here and there, Matt.

      Employees that potentially aren’t interested in working for someone else: employers are rarely fans of hiring people with form for making negative comments on past employers publicly.

      Glassdoor is anonymous for a reason.

    4. Avatar photo Sam says:

      Out of all things to criticize a company if you’re going after the investors then start with Hyperoptic who had evil billionaire George Soros, the man who made insane amounts of money crashing the british pound, as a major shareholder

    5. Avatar photo Matt says:

      What if I told you, you can disagree with someone and still work with them?

      I don’t understand this prevalent mentality where “they don’t agree with me so thats it”?
      If you want to change an opinion, you have to be at the table and have an open, civil discourse.

      If you want to change peoples attitudes, regardless if it’s to diversity, or inclusivity – doing so by cutting them off isn’t usually the way to do it.

      You don’t have to agree with the investment company on anything, other than the terms of the agreement for the money taken (which is protected in law by a contract). People with the money to risk on a company like Cityfibre, probably have a lot of money, like so much you’d never make a fraction of it in your lifetime. That puts them in one of very few demographics, it also means they’re going to be involved in lots of things… Guess what, people are going to disagree with at least something they’re doing at all times. It’s part of doing business when you need £bn’s.

      If you want to avoid being really upset, I wouldn’t look who are shareholders/PE behind any UK telecoms company. You’re going to have a bad time.

    6. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Actually read the second post by you again, D.

      ‘Cityfibre also proudly supports it’s own LGBTQ+ network, meanwhile the UAE government imprison people just for being homosexual.’

      This kinda proves that the UAE’s social attitudes aren’t a factor in CityFibre’s day to day running else they would be objecting to that network wouldn’t they?

    7. Avatar photo D says:


      “This kinda proves that the UAE’s social attitudes aren’t a factor in CityFibre’s day to day running else they would be objecting to that network wouldn’t they?”

      No, it just demonstrates how hypocritical they are.

    8. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      It is difficult to know who owns what these days, and is even more difficult to avoid it., I would love not to buy stuff produced in China, but it is impossible. the broadband provider I use is propped up by Oaktree Capital Management, who knows what investors have their money in that. BT is still in Russia, so are you going to stop using BT services, including openreach?

      The Saudi royal family have large shares in the company I work for. what can you do? If you worry about who owns what, you will not do anything, buy anything or use anything. Lots of countries which I would prefer not to support.

  2. Avatar photo Matt says:

    So before people jump in with 90% is low. A mate of mine is in Southend and the building management company won’t let anyone else install, as they already have access to BT & VM, so couldn’t get a wayleave.

    That’s an MDU on the coast so if you have similar responses from the building management companies then … guess that explains it.

  3. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Very useful in my part of Southend, full of detached houses on roads that VM have never touched and we’re not on the Openreach FTTP schedule until 2026. Going by the number of installs on nearby telephone poles I think there’s been decent take-up around me.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Detached houses are the most expensive to serve for CityFibre or VM unless there’s pre-existing Openreach duct they can use.

  4. Avatar photo S says:

    Just wish would start laying fibre in my part of Bath, I do wonder whether they will ever resume work here..

    1. Avatar photo Harry says:

      All South West build has been cancelled.

    2. Avatar photo Somerset says:

      Which would include Weston-super-Mare.

  5. Avatar photo mike says:

    They actually completed a build?! 😮

  6. Avatar photo Alex says:

    That reinstatement looks horrendous.

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      What’s wrong with it? Isn’t finished yet and looks like a regular duct with a swept tee and lateral coming off it.

      Genuine question as I don’t know.

  7. Avatar photo Winston Smith says:

    Almost £730 per premises passed. Ouch.

  8. Avatar photo Jason says:

    How much of that £51 was paid in fines and damages ?

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Do you know of any fines against them in the area? I haven’t seen anything much come up for Southend.

    2. Avatar photo Jason says:

      The Southend highways were issuing a lot of fines during the heart of their build . It seems connect fibre are building the same area now as well as Openreach .

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