The £30m project by Cityfibre and UK ISP Vodafone, which last year started deploying a new 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network across the Cambridgeshire city of Peterborough, this week achieved an important milestone by connecting its first homes.
The effort forms part of Cityfibre’s national £2.5bn plan (details) to deploy their Gigabit capable “full fibre” infrastructure to cover 5 million premises (homes and businesses) across 37 UK cities and towns by the end of 2024 (phase one = 1 million by the end of 2021).
As in other cities, the new deployment marks an extension of the operator’s original 120km Dark Fibre network (established 2014), which was initially only built to serve Peterborough’s business community and public sector clients. Under the new effort a further 80km+ of fibre optic cables have been laid to reach local homes and smaller businesses.
The deployment phase for this project began last July 2018 and work is now largely complete in the Garton End, New England, Paston, Dogsthorpe and Newark areas. The Ortons, in the south of the city, will be next in line to benefit with construction due to begin later this month.
Rebecca Stephens, CityFibre’s Local Development Manager, said:
“It’s great to see the next step forward in the digital transformation of Peterborough. We are making the city one of the best connected places in Europe and it’s heartening to hear the feedback of those residents who are benefiting from gigabit-speed connectivity and seeing first-hand the difference it can make to their lives.”
Paul Ryder, Vodafone’s Peterborough City Manager, said:
“With the first customers now connected to Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, we have begun the digital transformation of Peterborough. I’m really excited, talking to our customers and seeing the difference a full-fibre network infrastructure can make to the way people live and work.”
The Gigafast Broadband packages from Vodafone currently cost from £28 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps (symmetric speed) service on an 18 month contract, including free installation (you also get a very good wireless router in the bundle). This then rises to just £48 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier.
We predict around 60,000 premises are likely to be covered by Cityfibre’s deployment (our estimate), although as usual they will face some competition. Cable operator Virgin Media has already covered three quarters of the city with their 350Mbps capable broadband network, while Openreach is starting to deploy G.fast and their own FTTP network into the area (coverage is currently very limited).