back to article UK altnet CityFibre's boss on its hopes to capitalise on market churn as fibre broadband rolls out

The news that so-called alternative network CityFibre has just received a £1.1bn cash injection isn't just a story for the pink pages of the Financial Times – it could mean a shift in the UK's communications landscape. That's according to CityFibre, which has staked its claim as the UK's largest independent fibre network …

  1. knarf

    There are counting people twice

    Like me who has choice of Virgin or CityFibre provider.

    1. Dazed and Confused

      Re: There are counting people twice

      That's probably to balance out all the people who aren't being counted at all as they have no options and no one seems to be publishing any maps of their plans.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Which means a third national infrastructure has arrived."

    National being anyone living in a city. The rest of us, especially anyone in even a mid sized town or less can go whistle.

    Oh look. From the CityFibre website, for my address:

    "Thanks for your interest, we haven’t planned your area at the moment. "

    Quel surprise

    1. Michael

      No even tjhe city

      I'm in Glasgow. They have installed 3 separate fibre connections on my parents street. My house is currently less than 300 meters from the CityFibre lines. They have no intention of coming down my street. Nor do any of the other suppliers.

      1. matjaggard

        Re: No even tjhe city

        I'm in a village and have it. However the only operator available is Vodafone who are never getting my business back after a years long billing and service debacle with my phone contract which ended up with Ofcom demanding they give me all my money back and let me keep the phone - still wasn't worth all the hours I spent complaining to them though.

      2. PC Paul

        Re: No even tjhe city

        I'm in Gloucester and have virgin cable, with cityfibre digging up the path outside right now to soakwire the area. But a mate has a new house nearby built between two older houses and nobody will wire it up...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My CityFibre connection seems great. Less enamoured about having to use Vodafone as an ISP but hopefully more options will become available eventually.

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      CityFibre went past my door a few months ago but I have no wish to go with Vodafone. I'm currently with Zen (over OpenReach) and they offer CityFibre links in some places, so I'm hoping they'll do so here in the next few months.

  4. Andy The Hat Silver badge

    Cityfibre ... arghhhh

    The company installing fibre ... and cutting other's phone lines without care as they put ducts/cables in without any care about current infrastructure.

    I know someone who, along with several people on her road, has now had their line broken 3 separate times by careful Cityfibre "installers". TalkTalk are crap but when they get complained at they complain to Openreach and the poor engineer was pulling his hair out (again) as he was tracing multiple cable breaks in multiple locations ...

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

      the poor engineer was pulling his hair out (again)

      Imagine the face of a hairdresser who will have to fix all the resulting mess. Probably they'll be pulling their own hair out too, which would inevitably create a shortage of hairdresser's appointment slots as they would also want to get themselves fixed.

      1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

        If a hairdresser dresses the hair of all those and only those who don't dress their own hair, who does the hairdresser's hair?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

          As the old joke goes, if there are two barbers in town, always get your hair cut by the one who has the worst haircut.

    2. Stumo

      Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

      Contractor in Cambridge caused no end of havoc here, digging trenches in front of front doors with no notice, and going round knocking on doors asking for people to move the cars in front of the house, and getting aggressive when the people in the house said it wasn't their car. (no, parking hadn't been suspended because that would require them to have paid the council).

      Work is shoddy, blocking drains and ruining the look of the road. Next to me they've put an access panel under a parking space then get annoyed when someone parks on it, leading to them trying to lever it up with a car above...

      Never going to use them on a point of principle.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

      Not CityFibre, but when KCOM rolled out in our area (that makes it pretty obvious where I’m posting from, LOL) there were all kinds of issues with messed up footpaths etc. Some of it was NIMBYism, but in some cases they really did make a mess.

      I believe all the groundwork was subcontracted so not directly KCOM’s fault, but still.

      1. Andy The Hat Silver badge

        Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

        There was plenty of coordination - the (horrendous) pavements were resurfaced as the cable installation was finished and looked great ... only to be dug up less than one week later to repair the telephone cables as the ducts had been cut so replacement cables couldn't be drawn through! ... doh!

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

        I believe all the groundwork was subcontracted so not directly KCOM’s fault, but still.

        Same problem with CityFibre, and every other cable(-ish) provider. When Cam Cable's contractors put in their lines round Cambridge ~30 years the final score was one water main, two gas mains(!) and uncounted electricity and phone cables cut.

        One contractor cut through the power outside the Zebra pub, very nearly getting a face full of vapourised pneumatic drill bit. He staggered into the Zebra, white faced and shaking, and asked for a double scotch. Alan, the landlord at the time, asked "Was it you who just cut off my power?" and when the guy said yes, kicked him out.

      3. jake Silver badge

        Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

        "the groundwork was subcontracted so not directly KCOM’s fault"

        Eh? In these here parts, as a contractor, if I hire a subcontractor to do a job for me and the work done is shoddy, I am the responsible party. The people I do the work for yell at ME to fix it (which I immediately do, with apologies, not excuses).

        Bottom line: If the work is done under my shingle, I am directly responsible.

        Now ask me why I'm extremely finicky about my subcontractors.

    4. AW-S

      Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

      The quality of these installations is going to be a major problem moving forwards.

      I've had FTTP installed in Hampshire by a new kid on the block and their installation engineers made 5 visits to get the link between the pole and distribution box inside the property to work. Bend radius mistakes, poor quality connectors, poor plastic housings on the outside, etc.

      None of this is going to last 15 years, unlike our existing copper circuit which we have had no issues with for over 35 years.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

        Think you've got it bad?

        Palo Alto rolled out a fiber ring around the City in 1983[0]. It runs along the same line of telephone poles that my parents get their PG&E electricity, cable TV and POTS from. They have been unable to get fiber from the city for nearly 40 years. Guess why. That's right, money. Palo Alto keeps trying, but the total cost always is far more expensive than any financial returns could possibly justify.

        (The existing fiber is somewhat obsolete ... but last time I heard it still lights and passes bits with no errors, even when as saturated as the test equipment allows. More importantly, the right of way still exists.)

        [0] Yes, I know. Very early. Palo Alto's always been progressive. As an example, they started brainwashingteaching school kids about recycling in the late 1960s, with a recycling center opening in 1971 for household drop off; curbside household pickup started six or seven years later.

    5. PC Paul

      Re: Cityfibre ... arghhhh

      I was chatting to a cityfibre installer here. He said a lot of the old BT ducts were in a terrible state. Collapsed, unmapped and often full to the brim. Nobody is happy with all this.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I can actually get their gigabit fibre in my area, only problem is ISP options are garbage tier, talktalk and airboardband (who ever they are) this is the only reason I haven't ordered it yet. I can't wait for the normies to get it and then claim its crap because they don't get 1gbit when connected by wifi

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