Exploring CityFibre’s Rapid Full Fibre Network Expansion in the UK

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CityFibre’s UK full fibre network advancements have reached an impressive milestone, now spanning across 3 million premises, with 2.6 million ‘ready for service’ to ISPs. To put this into perspective, let’s recall that CityFibre reported the network crossing the 2 million premises mark in September 2022. Thus, in the span of a year, it has added around an additional million premises to its network.

The company’s efforts towards building its network began in 2018, and now, it has achieved the ‘primary build complete status’ in areas like Milton Keynes, Stirling, Peterborough, and Coventry. In these highly developed locations, ISP partners are experiencing a take-up rate approaching 30%.

On a legislative note, the company obtained wayleave permissions in June, authorizing them to connect over a million homes belonging to local authorities and housing associations. These wayleave agreements allow CityFibre to physically connect properties to the network without requiring the explicit permission of landlords.

Securing funding has also been a significant part of CityFibre’s growth strategy. In July, it secured £318 million in public funding to aid its rollout to 218,000 UK households and businesses. This financial boost included three funding awards under the government’s Project Gigabit initiative that’s tailored to connect hard-to-reach areas. The firm matched this financing support with £171 million of its own funds, bringing the total investment close to half a billion pounds.

In terms of technological developments, CityFibre marked another milestone by launching its XGS-PON service to the market. Through this, a 2.5 Gbps wholesale consumer broadband product was launched, with commercial rollouts initiated in mature XGS-PON deployment areas. Notably, this innovative platform can support symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbps and can be easily upgraded to 50G PON.

“With an infrastructure project of this size, we have successfully adapted as the market has changed and will continue to fine-tune our rollout in order to meet our targets moving forward,” said Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre. “I’m delighted that thanks to our investment, 3 million homes now have access to world-class digital infrastructure, and we look forward to connecting many more as our rollout progresses.”

Reflecting upon CityFibre’s accomplishments, Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale stated, “Millions of homes and businesses from Milton Keynes to Stirling now have access to ultra-fast, reliable broadband and 5G thanks to CityFibre’s delivery of the Government’s £5bn Project Gigabit.”

It should be noted that technological advancements like Fixed Wireless Access and satellites are being developed further to enhance worldwide internet access. As the fibre rollout continues, one can delve into a comprehensive understanding of broadband and its evolution.

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