Vodafone and CityFibre to bring ultrafast gigabit fibre to the UK
In one of the most significant developments in UK telecommunications in since the introduction of landline-based broadband, Vodafone and CityFibre have announced plans to bring ultrafast Gigabit broadband to 5 million homes by 2025.
Unlike existing fibre optic networks run by BT Openreach, which depend heavily on copper telephone wires, CityFibre’s new fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks will use fibre optic cables from end to end on every connection. This enables them to offer much faster and more reliable transfer speeds.
CityFibre will build and control the new networks, while Vodafone has exclusive rights to sell ultrafast broadband to consumers during the introductory phase in most cities. Vodafone has said that one million customers can expect to see lightning quick speeds after it has rolled out the service next year and that they will be getting a “superior product at a lower cost”.
Vodafone will also be able to use the advanced fibre networks to support the 5G mobile data networks it plans to deploy from the early 2020s.
Chief Executive of Vodafone UK Nick Jeffery said: “Vodafone is already playing the leading role in building the Gigabit Society across Europe by providing customers with high-speed, high-quality broadband. The UK has fallen far behind the rest of the world, trapped by the limited choice available on legacy networks. We look forward to working with CityFibre to build the Gigabit fibre network that the UK needs and deserves.”
BT Openreach is already in the process of upgrading 2 million home to ultrafast FTTP broadband and hopes for 10 million homes and business to be connected by 2020. It welcomed the announcement from Vodafone and a spokesman said “As we’ve said consistently – investing in more fibre-to-the-premises technology across the UK will need commitment from the whole industry.”
As ultrafast broadband is rolled out in cities across the UK, customers living in more rural areas will no doubt remain frustrated with their slower network connections. On Guy Fawkes night, residents of Templeton, Devon burned a BT Openreach effigy to protest their paltry 1Mbit/s download speeds.