CityFibre has been awarded three new contracts under the government’s £5bn Project Gigabit programme. These will subsidise the rollout of ‘gigabit capable’ infrastructure to 218,000 rural properties in Norfolk, Suffolk and Hampshire, that would otherwise be excluded from commercial rollouts.
The three new Project Gigabit contracts, awarded under a competitive process and totalling £318m of government subsidy, will be supported by an additional private investment from CityFibre of £170m, delivering a combined total investment in the project of £488m.
In line with its strategy, CityFibre will continue to expand and densify its existing network footprint alongside the Project Gigabit programme. This will see CityFibre now extend its rollout to an additional 283,000 homes across Norfolk, Suffolk and Hampshire within its 8m home rollout programme, bringing the total targeted premises unlocked by the new awards to over 500,000.
CityFibre has secured four Project Gigabit contract awards to date, totalling £387m in government subsidies to reach 262,000 homes. This has been supported by nearly £223m of committed private investment from CityFibre, representing a combined total investment in Project Gigabit’s target areas of £610m. Within its existing 8m home build programme, CityFibre will also complement its Project Gigabit rollouts in the four counties with expansion to an additional 453,000 premises.
As the Project Gigabit subsidised premises are not addressed by any commercial build plans, CityFibre’s rollout will be the only gigabit-capable network built in the target area, providing a highly attractive footprint to its Internet Service Provider customers (ISPs).
As an established wholesale operator, all ISPs will be able to access the new network by joining the CityFibre platform. Built using gold-standard XGS-PON technology, capable of supporting speeds of up to 10Gbps, CityFibre’s full fibre network will enable ISPs to serve customers with far faster and more reliable broadband services than legacy copper-based networks.
Detailed planning in these locations has already begun and the first Project Gigabit connections are expected in early 2024. CityFibre’s nationwide rollout is progressing well with more than 2.8m homes already passed by its networks.
CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “Securing three further Project Gigabit contracts firmly establishes CityFibre as an integral delivery partner to government for rural connectivity. Our growing participation is central to our strategy, optimising our commercial rollout plan alongside the programme to provide our ISP customers with unrivalled network density in regions throughout the country.”
Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure, Sir John Whittingdale, said: “Access to lightning-speed broadband is key to the Government’s plans for driving economic growth and levelling up communities. This investment of £318 million in government funding is a significant milestone in achieving that mission.
“Delivered through our flagship Project Gigabit programme, 218,000 homes and businesses across Norfolk, Suffolk, and Hampshire will benefit from a modern digital infrastructure, helping to power local communities and our plan to boost connectivity all over the UK.”