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FTTP for Southend-on-Sea: CityFibre’s bringing gigabit broadband to Essex town

Gigabit broadband provider CityFibre has announced plans to deliver a dark fibre network to public sector and business sites in Southend, paving the way for future FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) growth in the Essex town. 

The deal will see schools, colleges and council offices throughout Southend able to access ultrafast speeds up to 1Gbps, head and shoulders above the current national average speed, which, at the last count, stood at 22.8Mbps

As well as this, CityFibre will also offer its network up to local service providers on a wholesale basis, meaning the majority of Southend’s businesses will be able to plug into gigabit fibre broadband. 

Commenting on the deal, Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre said: “We’re delighted to add Southend to growing ranks of Gigabit City projects across the UK. Southend demonstrates many of the key indicators of success. It has a forward thinking council with an ambitious digital strategy and the appetite to become a leading example of a smart city while its business community is growing and hungry for best-in-breed connectivity options.” 

Southend is the latest of CityFibre’s so-called ‘Gigabit Cities’, which include Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Peterborough, Bristol and York

While CityFibre’s currently interested in delivering gigabit services to public sector sites and business customers, its continued expansion is significant, because it paves the way for residential customers to be reached with the same services in the future. Right now CityFibre’s involved in a trial with Sky and TalkTalk in York, which is designed to see how commercially viable rolling out gigabit FTTP to regular folks is. 

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding has been particularly bullish about CityFibre’s chances in the past, saying that there’s scope for millions of British homes to be reached with this technology. Following the acquisition of KCOM’s national network last year, CityFibre plans to be live in 50 UK cities by 2020. 

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