Fibre optic network developer Cityfibre has announced that their £30m project to deploy a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband ISP network in the large UK market town of Huddersfield (West Yorkshire), which will be sold to residents via Vodafone’s ISP packages, has now begun.
At present the town already has an existing 52km long Dark Fibre style network, which was originally launched in 2014 to serve local council (public sector) sites and now reaches over 200 customers across the public and private sector. However under the new deployment this will be extended so that “almost every home and business locally” can expect to be covered, although a solid “premises passed” figure has yet to be disclosed.
All of this forms part of the network operator’s £2.5bn private investment to cover around 1 million UK homes by the end of 2021, which will then rise to reach a total of 5 million premises across 37 UK cities and towns by the end of 2024 (here).
Steve Moore, CityFibre’s City Development Manager, said:
“Through a thriving creative and digital culture, coupled with a world-renowned reputation for manufacturing and innovation, Huddersfield has so much to gain from fresh investment in its broadband infrastructure. For instance, recent research estimates that over the next 15 years, the roll-out of full fibre could unlock £18m in business productivity and innovation, and £11m from new start-up activity.
Digital investment has the ability to transform businesses and communities. In the year ahead, we want to work with as many organisations as possible to raise awareness of our plans for the town and ensure everyone understands the long-term importance of reliable, ultrafast speed and limitless capacity broadband.”
Councillor Peter McBride, Kirklees Council, added:
“We welcome this investment in the District, which will bring first-class digital infrastructure to Huddersfield residents and future proof its digital connectivity. The Council continues to work closely with the private sector to facilitate investment in high-speed connectivity across the district. Digital infrastructure is vital – it is part of our economic strategy to ensure we remain a resilient, future-proofed district that is fully able to take advantage of technology.”
The local roll-out is expected to complete by the end of 2021 and the first connected homes should be ready to go live during Summer 2019. Meanwhile Cityfibre has chosen the local Brighouse-based contractor SDH Project Services Ltd to deliver the new infrastructure, which it said would use “modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly and efficiently.”
Cityfibre added that they were “committed to working closely” with Kirklees Council and local communities to ensure a “fast and successful roll-out with minimum disruption” to residents. At this stage the biggest threat to the operator will come from established “ultrafast broadband” networks, which in this case primary means Virgin Media’s cable network that covers nearly all of the town.
A quick look at some local data suggests that Cityfibre will begin their roll-out in the town’s central western side (George street, Half moon street and Dundas street etc.).