Full fibre network builder Cityfibre and UK ISP partner Vodafone have today announced that the first residents in the city of Stirling (Scotland) are now connecting to their new £10m and 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) ultrafast broadband network. The build is due to complete next year.
All of this forms part of the operator’s £2.5bn investment strategy to cover around 1 million homes in 12 UK cities and towns by the end of 2021 (Phase One) and then 5 million premises across 37 cities and towns by the end of 2024 (here).
Previously Cityfibre only operated a 24km long Dark Fibre network in Stirling, which was used to serve public sector sites and businesses, but since the work began more than 42km of fibre optic cables have been laid, with work now largely completed in Cambusbarron.
Meanwhile Broomridge, Bannockburn and Braehead are still in progress, with Raploch, Riverside and the Bridge of Allan set to be the next areas to benefit from the roll-out. Cityfibre’s project will aim to reach “almost every home and business” in Stirling and the Bridge of Allan (they aim to do 85% or more coverage of each city) by the end of 2020.
Elaine Doherty, CityFibre’s Development Manager for Stirling, said:
“We’re really excited to be connecting the first Vodafone Gigafast Broadband customers to our network as we reach this new milestone in the digital transformation of Stirling. We are making the city one of the best-connected places in the country 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.”
Neil Blagden, Vodafone UK’s Director of Digital Ops, said:
“The response from residents to our ‘Vodafone Gigafast Broadband’ offer has been fantastic and as we’re continuing to connect customers to the network, the benefits are already speaking for themselves.”
Mind you it hasn’t all been plane sailing as Cityfibre’s local contractors (PMK Civil Engineering) have faced a number of complaints from unhappy residents about their street works (here and here). No doubt they and many locals will be pleased when all of the work has completed and they can finally connect to the new service.
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 good wireless router), which rises to £48 per month for their top 900Mbps (Gigabit) tier.
The best news for Cityfibre is that currently neither Virgin Media nor Openreach (BT) have a significant “ultrafast broadband” presence in the city, which could give the alternative network provider a significant advantage.