CityFibre, the UK's independent full fibre network provider, has awarded its first round of contracts to build partners in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Hampshire and Suffolk as the company commences four county-wide full-fibre projects under the government's GBP 5 billion Project Gigabit initiative.
According to CityFibre, these deployments will bring high-speed, "gigabit-capable" internet to over 715,000 rural properties currently underserved by commercial rollouts.
The company has selected its building partners - Granemore Group in Cambridgeshire, OCU Group, and CCN Communications in Hampshire, OCU Group in Norfolk, and Telelink, OCU Group, and Granemore Group in Suffolk - to enable CityFibre to begin the first phase of construction in each location. The first homes in Cambridgeshire are expected to be connected as early as October.
Government subsidies and private capital
CityFibre secured GBP 387 million in government subsidies through a competitive process for these four Project Gigabit contracts. In addition to this, CityFibre said it will add an additional GBP 223 million in private investment, bringing the total investment to over EUR 500 million.
Full-Fibre Network Expansion
According to the statement, CityFibre's nationwide full-fibre network now passes over 3 million premises, with more than 2.7 million homes ready for high-speed internet services.
The company said it is actively expanding this network to reach up to a third of the UK and is on track to connect approximately one million "Ready for Service" homes this year. Notably, CityFibre said it is the second-largest full fibre platform, with a nearly 30 percent take-up rate in mature locations.
CityFibre further said its rollouts now benefit from the latest full fibre technology, XGS-PON, enabling Internet Service Providers to offer speeds of up to 2.5 Gbps, 35 times faster than the UK's average. Moreover, CityFibre highlighted that it can deliver up to 10 Gbps in the future.
CityFibre's deployments promise to bridge the digital divide and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of rural residents in the UK.