back to article UK government hands CityFibre £318M for rural broadband builds

The UK government has said it will stump up £318 million ($403 million) in funding for network provider CityFibre to link around 218,000 premises in three English counties with fiber internet access as part of its plans to get more of the country connected. Unveiled as the latest step in the government's "Project Gigabit" …

  1. xyz Silver badge


    I hear it's all a bit wild and back of beyond in Hampshire... If BT couldn't even manage to fibre up Hampshire before breakfast, what chance has anyone "more rural" got? This beggers belief.

    Addendum from the BBC...

    The project is expected to be completed in the region (Hampshire) by March 2029.


  2. eezatehgeeza


    Norfolk, Suffolk and Hampshire - glad to see that the gov are spreading their funding throughout the UK as normal.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: FFS

      It says "parts of". Those will be the flat, posh parts with houses as closely placed as is consistent with being posh.

      1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        Re: FFS

        Cynics. I am sure fibre will extend beyond the luxury properties into mud hut land. At least up to that point where that metric box can be ticked and they can go begging for another subsidy.

      2. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: FFS

        Not really. The bits that are the priorities are the bits Londoners colonised when they sold their multi million quid bedsits in London for a proper house out in the countryside during the pandemic, which are the towns and villages within a 10 mile drive of a mainline railway station back to London.

        It's interesting that after 20 years of talking about fibre out here within 2 years of our lords and masters moving in enmasse all of a sudden we end up as a top national priority for fibre connections.

        A cynic might think that these things are connected.

        1. anothercynic Silver badge

          Re: FFS

          Just like a part of the Shire here where GPRS still ruled supreme until it suddenly had not 3G, nay, but FOUR G. I wonder which high level exec from Vodafone moved in to get their 4G connection and happened to benefit the likes of hoi polloi in the neighbouring villages.

  3. John Robson Silver badge


    Presumably it will be places which already have BT fibre laid then...

  4. Bob Dunlop

    Darkest Hampshire

    Well I'm in rural Hampshire and would seriously like it, but suspect they'll do the easy towns and ignore out of the way villages and single houses.

    Hell even stable electricity would be nice. Three sort cuts ranging 1-5 minutes so far today, had a couple of similar in June. Might have to buy a couple more UPSes.

    What really annoys is Vodafone has fiber along the road past our house, but not for domestic use.

  5. vogon00

    Keep some of the money back for 'repairs'.

    This story on CityFibre gives me a timely opportunity to have a minor moan. I was visiting friends yesterday, who live in a Vermin Media service area and....for some reason, actually take VM's service.

    Along their road, the buried VM cables transit the 'inside edge' of the pavement, before turning circa 90 degrees 'inwards' towards the properties using a 'CATV' marked box in the ground. From this, it then runs under a few feet of grass verge before reaching the boundary - in this case a wall.

    CityFibre's local contractors (Not sure who is it round here, although I think it's Telec Networks) are in the process of running in infrastructure for real FTTP all over the place, and in this location appear to be using some sort of trenching machine. Now, CF are running their fibre/ducting along the boundary line. In the case of my friends and their immediate neighbor, they managed to shove the trenching machine through the buried VM Cables. My friend's drop cable was taped up and lightly buried suggesting 'no problem here, Guv.', but the neighbors cable had been ripped right out of the ground with such force that the coax had been stretched and pulled out of the buried connector. It's not particularly weedey coax either - something along the lines of RG213/URM67/LMR400 (OK, it's not armored or LDFxxx, but pretty tough normally).

    Fairly recently, the VM phone service changed from analog POTS via a 2W pair/Co-Ax 'Hybrid' drop to VOIP only, with the VM Set-top-box providing telephone service inside the house using an internal VoIP-FXS adapter.

    Result:Neither Internet OR 'phone service at each property. My friend and I 'bodged' service back into place with some scrap co-ax and tape, mainly as the elderly-ish neighbors were very anxious about the no 'phone service part.. I don't *know* how many other properties along the road were affected, but my guess is quite a few (The contractor's people obviously didn't learn from the 1st mistake!).

    Dear CityFibre, please keep some of this 318 Mil back to fix the eff-ups of your contractors, or at least fund the efforts to chase them into fixing the issues caused..

    Do I feel sorry for Vermin Media in this instance? Almost.

    1. seasider

      Re: Keep some of the money back for 'repairs'.

      Round our way Cityfibre's contractors managed to put a hole through a main sewer, water company spent a few days repairing sewer with road completely closed to traffic. As it was the only road that kept the whole area running (due to uncontolled development on both the other roads) the result was gridlock morning and night with thousands of cars stuck in jams each day. It seems I no longer urgently need a superfast fttp connection from Cityfibre or their ISP partners - at least not until I have fogotten about the wasted hours - supect locally I am not alone. Its great to have a choice but it's bleedin chaos when it's being cabled up.

      1. Oneman2Many

        Re: Keep some of the money back for 'repairs'.

        While everyone is having a go at City Fibre's contractors they are most likely the same people that do OR and VM installs.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Keep some of the money back for 'repairs'.

      City Fibre round here - Rugby - have made an absolute fucking dogs dinner of making good road surfaces after their inches deep cheapo- fibre laying. They also run crazy/ass mobile roadworks that are fundamentally dangerous, and traffic lights as a last resort.

      The gyratory in Rugby town centre was like a slalom course earlier this Spring.

      Their contractors should not have any sort of public licence to dig up the road/pavement anywhere UK-wide:

      … oh yes and following Openreaches free Full Fibre upgrade. Seems like UK Govt is heavily subsidising CF’s costs for duplication of effort - also have Vermin Media in town.

      1. anothercynic Silver badge

        Re: Keep some of the money back for 'repairs'.

        Do you recall who their contractors were? Start lodging complaints about them and encourage others to do the same.

  6. cipnt

    That's a lot of money

    Almost £2,000 per household to get fibre broadband?

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Re: That's a lot of money

      Have you asked Openreach how much they charge for Excess Construction Charges?

      From memory something like £140/m for any work in tarmac and £40/m soft dig (inc VAT), and that is before you add the cost of the fibre at about £5/m (applies even if duct already there, etc).

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: That's a lot of money

        The hat doesn’t sound too bad…

        Having recently had a foul waste connection installed for ~70m

      2. cipnt

        Re: That's a lot of money

        Well, yes. But that's the cost of install for a single dwelling.

        The transport of equipment onsite, the planning and council permission, some of the trenches and ducts, all of that would be shared by a larger number of homes and would expect to bring the cost down significantly.

        If I call BT to dig up my street to install fibre just for me, then yes, I expect that to be quite expensive.

  7. munnoch

    Best part of half a bil' to do 218k premises??? Thats a fairly modest ~2 grand each, but its still a monopoly service so if you fall out with the provider then you're shafted.

    Can we please do this with an OR type model. Not that I particularly like OR, but it makes much more sense to build out one network visiting every building in the land with wholesale service sold on to providers at regulated prices and with well defined metrics for attending to faults etc.. Like a, what's the word ... utility! That absolutely has to be part of the T&C's for the govt hand-out. Then I'm free to choose the service provider that suits me. One that understands the difference between wifi and broadband possibly.

    And who the cluck needs 10Gbps?? Seriously, stop stroking yourself.

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      And who the cluck needs 10Gbps?? Seriously, stop stroking yourself.

      Maybe video editors working from home?

      But yes - in general that's massive overkill, but it's not that long ago that 1Gbps, or even 100Mpbs would have been considered massive overkill.

      I'm old enough to remember having a 9600 baud connection, and that was amazing - in part because it was completely uncontested, and so if a download said 3 hours and 5 minutes it would take 3 hours and 5 minutes - enough time to head down to the bar for a refreshing glass or two, and come back exactly as the download finished.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        100Mbit is sufficient for pretty much anything.

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Ah, has that always be the case, will it always be the case...

          640kb RAM anyone?

          (Yes, yes the quote is almost certainly apocryphal, but the sentiment stands)

          I just hope you don't run a data centre if you think that 100Mb is enough for anything... I'm hardly on the cutting edge in terms of networking - but Gb is definitely of benefit in this LAN, although I could probably do with a 100Mb external connection - assuming the latency was low and the upload was appropriate.

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      A shared open i GRS is the most desirable, but as none of the others has the regulated/Market Dominant position of OR, it’s give the dosh to OR or a closed loop.

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    BT, CA, V? What kind of choice is that? Aren't they all just Sith clones?

  9. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    The only reason

    giganet is doing this area is the population density... even though we already have vermin media cables everywhere plus openretches efforts.

    Go beyond the main housing areas and giganet/vermin media/openretch all mutter about costs of laying the cables/fibre, shift their feet and look at the other expecting them to do the hard work.

  10. greenwood-IT

    Another "project"..

    "Project gigabit" another project that will just die off before completion.

    What happened to the "Universal Service Obligation", I still have clients stuck way below that threshold but ISPs are ignoring it.

    What happened to 4G, I have clients who can't get it, and now are being told 3G is being turned off with no plans for 5G in the area.

    Roll out within 12 months from a standing start - no chance. Trooli and giganet have been messing in my postcode for 3 years and it's still not fully available or working!

    75% of that "investment" will go on paperwork anyway.

  11. Ochib

    Would be nice if Gigabit internet came to rural Birmingham. It may well once the Londoners move up there due to HS2

    1. NeilPost Silver badge

      Christ I hope not. The last thing you want is City Fibre trashing the last 20 years of continual roadworks with their dangerous shenanigans.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Rural" broadband from "city" fibre.

  13. tiggity Silver badge

    Fibre a pipe dream

    No fibre (crappy copper here (or maybe even worse Al, not ever seen it as all phone cabling underground)).

    Not even in a proper rural location , in the "sticks" but plenty of housing estates around (area was a mosaic of farm & industry back in the day, & when various businesses or farms folded, housing was built on the freshly "available" land (farmland often does not magically equal green belt & brown envelopes help developers to get permissions to build on it) ), just also some farms, so although housing areas are high density, there are fields before next housing zone and so houses per unit area not city / town level due to intervening fields and no internet demand from the cattle / sheep. Its a hilly area and various springs / underground streams so that's made some of the land unsuitable for housing on cost grounds, contributing to the housing being dotted about in suitable high density "affordable to build" zones.

    Someone is just making a CBA on cost ground decision as although each housing estate is a juicy target, there's lots of "wasted cash" to be spent on laying fibre in the non housing areas, so cost per house relatively high.

    Without govt mandating fibre installs / paying some of the cost it's going to be a long wait.

  14. da39a3ee5e6b4b0d3255bfef95601890afd80709

    Duldrums between urban and rural - no hope Obi Wan

    While those new areas get gigabit, I'm stuck in the copper-middle between gigabit enabled Tunbridge Wells, and gigabit enabled Ashurst. Our switch will not be upgraded beyond VDSL2 by anyone, permanently restricted download speeds to 72mbps and upload speeds to 20mbps (uploads are rarely mentioned in ANY of the broadband websites), until Openreach are given another £1+ billion of our tax money to expand their monopoly. Everyone needs a fibre, to allow innovation and success in the online world ahead.

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