Alongside ten previously announced towns and cities, Bournemouth and Northampton mark more than one million homes identified for CityFibre’s full fibre roll-out.
Bournemouth and Northampton will each benefit from city-wide digital infrastructure investments totalling over £75m, as part of CityFibre’s plans to replace the nation’s legacy copper-based networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.
The towns are the final two of the first twelve locations selected for full fibre roll-outs as part of CityFibre and Vodafone’s strategic partnership, which set out an initial goal of reaching one million UK homes and businesses by 2021. Network build is underway in seven cities and customers are already receiving Vodafone’s Gigafast broadband services in four of those.
Detailed planning is already underway in Bournemouth and Northampton as CityFibre designs a network capable of serving all the current and future digital demands of each town. On completion, the state-of-the-art networks will reach nearly every home and business as well as providing a platform for a new generation of smart city applications and backbone to support a future roll-out of 5G mobile services. CityFibre is working closely with both local authorities to maximise the benefits of the roll-outs.
In Bournemouth, CityFibre has an existing fibre network that reaches approximately 21,000 homes. Work is underway to align it with CityFibre’s national network architecture before being activated for service. Expansion of the network to other parts of the town is due to begin in late summer this year with Vodafone Gigafast broadband services set to go live soon afterwards. The rollout in Northampton will begin in autumn this year with live services available towards the end of the year.
At present, full fibre is only available to 6% of UK properties. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the internet, users are offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, with download speeds 20 times faster and upload speeds 150 times faster than the average fixed broadband connection in the UK.
Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “At CityFibre we are leading the charge to switch over the UK from the copper wires of the past to the fibre of the future. Full fibre is the only infrastructure fit to power our economy in the digital age.
“With the addition of Bournemouth and Northampton to our previously announced Gigabit City projects, we have now identified over 1 million UK homes that will benefit from world-class connectivity. Our roll-outs are gathering momentum and we’re now focusing on selecting the next wave of cities in the programme.”
Neil Blagden, Director of Digital & Commercial Operations at Vodafone UK, said: “Full fibre can help fuel everything from hi-tech businesses to connected classrooms and buffer-free households. It will boost the local economies and improve people’s lives. We look forward to bringing the benefits of Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to residents and businesses in Bournemouth and Northampton later this year.”
Councillor John Beesley, Leader of Bournemouth Council, said: “Bournemouth is firmly established as a thriving digital town with a world-leading digital sector. An investment of this size strengthens our position of becoming a first-class, smart and connected digital place supporting the future needs of businesses and residents.
“We shall be working closely with CityFibre to ensure the roll out programme is as smooth as possible and that everyone is kept fully up-to-date with their plans.”
Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr Jonathan Nunn, added: “It’s been very exciting to work on this with CityFibre and we absolutely welcome their investment, which places Northampton at the forefront of the UK’s full fibre roll-out. The future is digital, therefore having the right infrastructure in Northampton is essential for us to remain competitive.
“This inward investment will help us attract businesses, build digital skills and resilience across local companies and services, and support new start up activity. It will also support the adoption of new innovations such as digital health and care services or e-learning tools. This, in turn, will drive economic growth with the benefits being felt by everyone who lives and works here.”
To find out more about CityFibre and its Fibre-to-the-Premises roll-out, visit www.cityfibre.com/residential
To find out more about Vodafone’s Gigafast Broadband service, visit www.vodafone.co.uk/gigafast