CityFibre digs in to develop digital foundations for Sunderland full-fibre net

Former altnet turned third- largest fibre broadband provider maintains heady pace of UK gigabit roll-out by beginning work in key northeast city

Just days after announcing it had started work to connect homes and businesses in the northwest of Glasgow to its full-fibre network, CityFibre has turned its attention to bringing full-fibre connectivity to homes and businesses in Sunderland.

The former altnet is now coordinating advance works with Sunderland City Council’s resurfacing programme across the city, ahead of the main £62m build programme which begins this month. The work, delivered by MAP Group on CityFibre’s behalf, is intended to result in a new gigabit  infrastructure roll-out to future-proof the city’s digital needs and further its smart city ambitions.

The overall project is expected to be completed by 2025, but the first services will go live much sooner than that. CityFibre said each part of the build will usually take just a few weeks to complete, even though construction teams will typically be outside each home for only two to three days.

Jason Legget, CityFibre’s city manager for Sunderland, said: “I am immensely excited and proud to see work getting under way in Sunderland. The city has truly embraced the potential of full-fibre and has a robust plan in place to be a genuine leader in smart city technology. For residents, it’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long term. Once the network is built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs now and for decades to come.”

Sunderland City Council chief executive Patrick Melia (pictured above with Legget) added: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering its £62m infrastructure investment programme in Sunderland. This will deliver a citywide network that will benefit residents, businesses and services, enabling us to further accelerate Sunderland’s digital transformation and catalyse economic growth. This is a once-in-a-generation upgrade that will future-proof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important. The digital age is here and we’re ready for it.”

One its network is built, CityFibre says it will have internet services available from an increasing range of ISPs. Across the UK, is already working with launch partner Vodafone to supply full-fibre infrastructure for customers on selected Vodafone Pro Broadband plans and TalkTalk. Other providers are expected to join the network soon.

The latest development is part of the £4bn CityFibre Gigabit City Investment Programme, which aims to bring full-fibre connectivity within reach of up to eight million homes in towns and cities across the UK.

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