The UK based CityFibre will provide Gigabit broadband services to its subscribers in Bristol in February. The provider had announced plans to launch superfast broadband services over fiber optic networks. CityFibre had acquired KCOM’s national fiber optic networks last year. This will accelerate CityFibre’s plans to launch the services quickly. Around 82 kilometers of fiber optic cable will be used to launch business broadband services under the ‘Bristol Gigabit City’ banner.
Local internet service provider, Triangle Networks has joined up as a launch partner to encourage Bristol-based firms to sign up for gigabit fiber broadband instead of FTTC (Fiber to the Cabinet)-based products. In the UK, BT along with Openreach is providing broadband services over its FTTC networks. Greater speeds can be achieved when the optical fiber is directly terminated at the subscriber’s place. Such direct connection with fiber optic cable is sometimes referred to as a pure fiber network, which is really fiber to the home (FTTH) network. As CityFibre is doing a pure fiber network, Triangle will be launching services that are ‘Gigabit-speed-as-standard’. Fiber to the home is far faster than those possible on fiber to the cabinet networks. FTTC that are still restricted by the limitations of copper wires.
CityFibre’s CEO Greg Mesch says, Bristol is already a UK leader in digital innovation, but its business community has not yet had the opportunity to take full advantage. This project provides that opportunity. Less than a month after announcing CityFibre’s acquisition of KCOM’s networks, the provider has begun to commercialize the networks. As the UK’s largest alternative infrastructure provider, this is the first of many new Gigabit City launches to come on CityFibre’s expanded footprint of 36 cities across the UK.”
Last year CityFibre bought KCOM’s duct and fiber networks in 24 cities as well as over 1,000 kilometers of long-distance backbone links that connect data centers across the UK, for a cool £90 million. The new networks could be used as a springboard for a roll-out of FTTP (Fiber to the Premises) networks and services to residential customers as well as businesses. By 2020, CityFibre plans to be live in 50 UK cities, which it estimates will put its services within reach of around 5 million homes and 350,000 businesses.
CityFibre has been progressing on with a trial of a residential FTTP service in York, along with Sky and TalkTalk, apart from launching business broadband services in Bristol. This could pave the way for ISPs using CityFibre’s network to deliver download speeds in excess of 900 Mbps.
In the UK, British Telecom has announced plans to reach 10 million UK homes with the recently introduced access technology standard, G.fast-based services by 2020. G.fast is a technology that is capable of delivering download speeds of around 700 Mbps in the laboratory and is being tested in the actual field now.