First Customer Live on CityFibre’s Cambridgeshire Project Gigabit Broadband Build

CityFibre have today announced that the first customer has just gone live on their new full fibre (FTTP) broadband ISP network in Cambridgeshire (England) under the £69m state aid supported Project Gigabit rollout contract (Lot 5), which began its construction phase back in February 2024 (contract was awarded in March 2023).

The original contracted announcement stated that a total of “around45,000 premises (hard-to-reach homes and businesses) in the county are ultimately expected to be covered by the new digital infrastructure (here). But the operator has previously stated that this deployment will also unlock a further £53m of commercial funding, which will separately enable them to reach a further 170,000 premises in the same county (total of 215,000).

NOTE: CityFibre is currently contracted to build its 10Gbps FTTP network to a total of almost 465,000 hard-to-reach homes through the Project Gigabit programme over the next few years.

The first customer, based in the village of Grantchester, has been connected by ISP partner Vodafone today and is taking its new ultrafast 2.2Gbps symmetrical broadband service (here). The customer is said to be a lecturer in film, who requires the frequent transferring of large video files, and has a young family. He was previously served by a legacy copper-based FTTC network (Openreach), which offered sub-80Mbps speeds.

Simon Holden, Group Chief Operations Officer at CityFibre, said:

“We’re thrilled to see the first customer connected on our Project Gigabit rollout and to welcome Vodafone’s launch of its fastest home broadband service exclusively over our network. This is an important milestone for CityFibre and for the hundreds of thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses left stranded on legacy copper networks.

We look forward to working with government and our partners to bring the benefits of full fibre and multi-gig services to rural premises nationwide.”

The work also supports CityFibre’s wider ambition of covering up to 8 million UK premises (funded by c.£2.4bn in equity, c.£4.9bn debt and c.£800m of BDUK subsidy) – across over 285 cities, towns and villages (c.30% of the UK), although it’s unclear precisely when they will achieve that (the original goal was for the end of 2025, but their current build + M&A plan may only get them to c.6m).

The operator currently covers 3.6 million UK premises (3.3m RFS).

NOTE: Cityfibre is supported by UK ISPs such as Vodafone, TalkTalk, Zen Internet, iDNET and others, but they aren’t all live or available in every location yet (often due to a mix of technical reasons and exclusivity agreements).

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