CityFibre and Vodafone complete first UK 2Gbps residential trial

Leading UK independent full-fibre broadband provider teams with comms operator and leading anchor tenant for trial of 2Gbps services, with scope to scale for introduction of services up to 10Gbps, made possible by recent upgrade to XGS-PON

Throughout 2022, CityFibre made almost weekly announcements of deployments and activations of its full-fibre network, and as it begins the new year, the UK’s largest independent broadband infrastructure provider has pivoted from footprint to performance, after announcing it has successfully completed a trial of 2Gbps residential services in York with its launch partner, Vodafone.

CityFibre is building an open access network that will connect up to eight million premises in 285 cities, towns and villages, reaching a third of the UK. A new trial was made possible by CityFibre’s recent upgrade of its York network to XGS-PON access technology, due to be rolled out as standard across its network from April 2023.

The commitment to XGS-PON was first announced by the network firm in July 2022, and is designed to enable residential and business services at symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbps across the entire footprint.

It will also allow CityFibre to support more customers on each optical line termination port, enabling, said the provider, “substantial” network cost savings, reducing power use across its networks and improving the efficiency of its future network expansion.

The new trial’s purpose was to evaluate and address all of the technical, process and customer experience challenges of upgrading a live network.

Working closely with Vodafone, the trial saw selected customers in York enjoy symmetrical speeds of up to 2Gbps, twice the speed of the fastest services widely available on CityFibre’s network.

The new services were delivered using the Vodafone Pro II Broadband service and the recently launched Vodafone Ultra Hub and Super WiFi6E Booster bundle.

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To facilitate the XGS-PON network upgrade, CityFibre chose suppliers Calix and Nokia as its essential technology partners to ensure diversity of supply chain. The York upgrade was undertaken in partnership with Calix, Lambda Networks and Splice Group.

“After a successful trial, we’re a major step closer to bringing multi-gig full-fibre services to millions of homes and business across the country,” said Michael Greening, product director at CityFibre.

“But at 2Gbps, we’re barely scratching the surface of our network’s capabilities. Thanks to our XGS-PON upgrade programme, we’ll be able to offer symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbps in the future, further evidence that not all full-fibre networks are created equal.”

Vodafone’s UK chief commercial officer, Max Taylor, said: “We’re the biggest full-fibre broadband provider in the UK, and recording our fastest ever home Wi-Fi speed showcases the true capability of the technology and our Pro II Broadband.

“With the UK’s fastest router, we’re all set to handle the next exciting developments, so our customers always get the fastest broadband speeds possible, in all corners of their home, at a great price.”

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