Cityfibre’s £40m project to roll-out a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network in Aberdeen (Scotland) has today seen its first customers go live via UK ISP partner Vodafone, which follows a little over half a year after the local construction phase began.
The Aberdeen project forms part of Cityfibre’s wider £2.5bn investment (details) to deploy their Gigabit capable”full fibre” broadband infrastructure to cover 5 million premises across 37 UK cities and towns by the end of 2024 (1 million by the end of 2021). The new network is being extended out from the operator’s existing 100km long Dark Fibre infrastructure in the city.
The local civil engineering work is being conducted by contractor GCU Ltd and a quick look suggests that the bulk of this is currently taking place around Kincorth and Torry in the city’s southern half. Elsewhere the Woodside and Northfield areas in the north are also looking particularly active (Kincorth and Northfield are said to be “largely complete“).
As construction ramps up in Scotland’s first “Gigabit City“, CityFibre has also appointed a second civil engineering firm – Actavo – to further support the delivery of the new full fibre network.
Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s Development Manager for Aberdeen, said:
“Aberdeen was the first Scottish city announced as part of our national roll-out to bring full fibre broadband to five million UK homes and businesses. It is fantastic to see it now coming to life with the first homes now beginning to connect to the network.
This is a major chapter in Aberdeen’s digital story and the benefits will be huge for all aspects of society – whether it’s helping businesses become more innovative and productive, helping households make better use of smart technology or increasing the ability of local professionals to work efficiently and effectively from home.
Our appointment of Actavo at this stage of the build shows that we are serious about this rollout and it was a pleasure to be joined by the co-leaders of Aberdeen City Council to give them a closer look at the real progress we are making.”
Chris Carroll, Vodafone’s City Manager for Aberdeen, said:
“There has been a fantastic response from Aberdonians to the potential offered by our Gigafast service. Our brand ambassadors have been all over the city explaining the difference this will make to broadband within homes and we are thrilled to say that more than 5000 households are now within reach of full fibre internet.
In early 2019, the roll-out will rapidly accelerate which is great news for the city as people have registered their interest by the thousands. The first homes are starting to connect and, as each new area of the city ‘goes live’, we’ll be keeping local residents fully up-to-date on how they can join the full fibre revolution.”
The Gigafast Broadband product from Vodafone typically costs from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) package on an 18 month contract and with free installation (you also get a very good wireless router in the bundle), which rises to £48 per month for their top 900Mbps tier.
The above packages are extremely cheap for such a service and the fact that Cityfibre faces very little competition in the local market is another big positive for them. By comparison Virgin Media’s cable network is non-existent and Openreach only has a tiny amount of local FTTP coverage, while their main service is still the significantly slower FTTC (VDSL2) platform.