CityFibre embarks on gigabit broadband roll-out in Sussex

Rapidly growing infrastructure provider spreads full-fibre connectivity in county’s key inland and coastal areas

The county of Sussex has found itself a gigabit broadband hotspot. Just days after Virgin Media O2 announced it was to make use of the UK government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme to help residents in rural West Sussex benefit from next-generation connectivity, CityFibre has rolled out full-fibre to two of the county’s key urban areas, Worthing and Crawley.

In the Adur and Worthing coastal region, 12 miles from Brighton and Hove where the company embarked on an £80m build-out in February 2021, CityFibre has signed a connectivity deal with affordable house provider Worthing Homes, which has over 3,783 properties housing 10,000 customers in the Sussex coastal area and aims to provide affordable rented homes, key worker accommodation, low-cost shared ownership, sheltered housing and new homes for local people.

In its partnership, the former altnet turned largest independent gigabit broadband provider CityFibre is investing £25m to bring gigabit connectivity to the Worthing area, giving residents living in properties owned and managed by Worthing Homes access to full-fibre broadband.

The West Sussex towns of Goring, Tarring and Salvington will be among the first to access full-fibre services, with plans to progress the build towards the Broadwater area of Worthing in the latter half of this year.

CityFibre said that once the entire build has been completed in 2023, almost every home and business in Adur and Worthing will have access to full-fibre broadband. It added that it has continued to make swift progress on the district-wide roll-out and to reach social housing sites as well as other homes and businesses in the area.

“Over the last year, our broadband connections have truly been a lifeline as we adapt to new ways of working, socialising and entertaining,” said Adrian Smith, CityFibre’s city manager for Adur and Worthing. “We are looking forward to connecting more and more members of the community to our network so they can reap benefits that come with a first-class and future-proof full-fibre connection.

“This agreement with Worthing Homes will help us to take the next step forward in the digital transformation of the area, making it one of the best-connected districts in the country. It is heartening to hear feedback from residents already benefiting from gigabit-speed connectivity and seeing first-hand the difference it can make to their lives.”

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CCN Communications is delivering the project on CityFibre’s behalf. Its team is working closely with CityFibre, Adur and Worthing Council and West Sussex County Council to manage any disruption and says it is using “modern build techniques” to ensure a fast and efficient roll-out.

Companies providing broadband services to the first residents connected to the new CityFibre network in the Adur and Worthing region include Zen Internet, TalkTalk and No One, Giganet – which provides full-fibre broadband services across 27 of CityFibre’s Gigabit Cities in 1.8 million UK homes across the south of England – and the residential offering from Trunk Broadband. Other internet service providers are set to join the network soon.

Just over 30 miles away from Worthing, CityFibre is working with Crawley Borough Council to lay a town-wide full-fibre network in a £23m project. People living in more than 9,000 homes managed by Crawley Council will be among the first to connect to the new fibre net through a blanket wayleave agreement, which gives CityFibre permission to connect all Crawley Council properties to the new network it is building across the town.

“We want to help make Crawley an even better place to live and provide great homes in neighbourhoods where our tenants can access training, skills and job opportunities,” said Peter Smith, cabinet member for planning and economic development at Crawley Borough Council.

“CityFibre’s full-fibre network will be vital in ensuring Crawley has a resilient and dynamic economy for decades to come and by signing a blanket wayleave agreement, we can ensure the residents of our properties can enjoy the many benefits of the fastest and most reliable digital connectivity will bring without any delay.”

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