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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Jones

CityFibre Begins FTTP Broadband Rollout to Homes in Chester

Whilst this has no added value to our communities it does shine some hope that things will improve for more communities in the future.

CityFibre UK has today announced that construction has started on their new £23 million project to deploy a gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across the Cathedral City of Chester in Cheshire (England), which is home to around 80,000 people.

As usual the “city-wide” rollout forms part of their wider £4bn investment programme (here and here), which currently aims to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 (they’ve already done 500,000 premises) and then 8 million across 100+ cities and towns (c.30% of the UK) – the latter target is expected to be “substantially completed” by the end of 2025.

NOTE:CityFibre is being supported by various ISPs, such as Vodafone (Gigafast Broadband), TalkTalk, Zen Internet, Giganet and others, but they aren’t all live or available in every location yet. The operator usually aims to reach 85%+ of premises in each town or city they target.

Construction of the new network, which has just commenced in the Upton area, is being handled by civil engineering firm Telent. The same company has also been contracted by CityFibre to help deliver a number of their other builds (e.g. Blackpool and Preston).

Julie Derbyshire, CityFibre’s City Manager for Chester, said: “This past year has really demonstrated the remarkable versatility of the internet and how much we depend upon all things digital for work, education and social connectivity with our family and friends. At CityFibre we want to ensure that as many homes as possible in Chester are linked to Full Fibre – the fastest and most resilient digital infrastructure available – to make our digital experience as seamless and effective as possible. We look forward to working with Chester West and Chester Council, residents, businesses and the wider community to harness the power of Full Fibre. Chester is a city of amazing history, culture and heritage and next generation Full Fibre will help ensure the city continues to have a resilient and dynamic economy for the future. In addition, it will provide growth opportunities and a platform to support businesses to take their products or services to a national and international audience”.
Cllr Richard Beacham added: “CityFibre’s new investment in Chester is testament to the city’s role as a driving force in our Borough’s economy. It comes at a time when the Council is particularly focused on economic recovery and connectivity has never been more important, both for businesses and residents.”

The city itself is quite a patch work of different networks at present, with CityFibre’s gigabit-capable rivals tending to operate in different sections from one another. For example, Virgin Media covers the northern area around Saughall and Blacon, while Openreach’s FTTP build is found across much of the city’s southern half.

Meanwhile, Hyperoptic has also hooked up a few apartment blocks in the centre to their FTTB/P network. Suffice to say that the local market isn’t currently being dominated by any single operator, at least not in terms of gigabit connectivity (Openreach does have a fair bit of ultrafast in their non-FTTP areas though).

Article by Mark Jackson


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