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Another Gigabit city for the UK
Monday 28 October 2013 17:01:55 by Andrew Ferguson

It appears that CityFibre who a couple of years ago started down the path of looking for places to spend some potential £500m of investment in fibre broadband infrastructure have now settled on the next city to benefit from their fibre roll-out, following on from York and Bournemouth.

The report over on talks about an up to £30m investment from CityFibre that will deliver Gigabit connectivity to benefit those living and working in Peterborough.

"Cities, like Peterborough, should have the opportunity to benefit from widespread deployment of fibre infrastructure. This will enable businesses and homes in the city to fully maximise the power of cloud computing, ultrafast broadband, or even glitch-free video conferencing on Google Hangouts or Skype. The first stage of our deployment will include the major commercial districts of the city, covering over 4,000 businesses, all of whom will benefit from gigabit level speeds and services. The second phase will bring that same level of speed to up to 60,000 homes, making Peterborough truly a Gigabit city. We welcome Peterborough to the Gigabit city club."

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre

The press release goes on to reveal what we expect is the reality in that the project will concentrate on creation of a metro-loop putting the CityFibre network within reach of 80% of Peterborough businesses. There was similar talk of covering homes in York when that project started and as far as we are aware this has not materialised so far, and recent enquires on sales levels for the Bournemouth operation have resulted in a blank answer.

If the project does go ahead and delivers FTTP connections to some 60,000 homes that is to be admired and would almost increase the number of homes where FTTP is available in the UK by around a third. Peterborough is a competitive city already, with FTTC and Virgin Media cable available, our speed stats though that 9.7% of homes are seeing speeds of 2 Mbps or slower, but a respectable 33% have already upgraded and are using a superfast connection (actual speed test of 30 Mbps or faster). Median download speed across the City of Peterborough is 19.5 Mbps, and the upload is 1.6 Mbps. With a population of 214,000 people, covering 60,000 homes is approaching two thirds of the housing stock.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
Great news! we need more gigabit cities to compete with the rest of the world. Good luck to Peterborough.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago

So no actual retail in York yet ? just a council LAN ?
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
"Peterborough City Council cabinet will discuss proposals to set up a partnership with the company, which is one of the country’s leading fibre internet infrastructure providers, at its meeting on November 4."
Posted by phil_cooke over 3 years ago
No retail in York and no sign of it happening in the near future - the couple of bits I've picked up have been aimed at business:
Posted by Lord_Monti over 3 years ago
I would like to think that CityFibre could provide a better coverage of Bournemouth before they shift their concentration to another town/city.

Despite living close to the starting point and having the pipes in the road up to my property boundary, three years on and they still cannot provide me with internet connection!

It is rapidly becoming more myth than reality...
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
@CD er... not sure why you are cheering them on as B4RN probably has more connections than CityFibre do in Bournemouth... last quoted number in a news report here was 250. They appear successful for business and metroring infrastructure, but not for residential
Posted by lloydio over 3 years ago
Dont get too excited Peterborough! Since 2008 I know no one that has a CityFibre connection or any address that can get it. I suspect they connected only 100 homes!
Posted by whatever2 over 3 years ago
Why does TBB continue to trot out PR from a company that continually fails to live up to the releases?

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
We have covered the question marks more than any other outlet I believe, and have distinctly not just reprinted their press release.

If we ignore news like this, then only the pure PR led stuff will appear with no mention of question marks about what has gone on elsewhere.
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
What happened to Dundee's rollout?

In Bournemouth, H2O/FC/CF were supposedly providing infrastructure for retail ISPs to use.

Fibreband, Velocity1 and Vispa were named (although Vispa's name rapidly disappeared).

Adam Troman was GM of Fibreband (source: ISPreview) and is Business Sales Mgr at CityFibre (source: LinkedIn).

Fibreband's website is dead.

Is CityFibre dead too?
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
Adam Troman's LinkedIn profile also says he is General Manager at Gigler Ltd, whose website does still work.

Their website says they offer "superfast 1000 Megabit services to 21,000 homes in Bournemouth connected to the UK’s largest fibre to the home network."

Their support forum's "Customer Service" section has no posts except from Gigler staff.

Who would choose an ISP like this?
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
Fibrecity Dundee -
Posted by whatever2 over 3 years ago
Ok Andrew, fair comment to a flippant post. However "Another Gigabit city..." would suggest there is one to start with. And this company seems to have failed to live up to any of it's targets, yet it's PR's are still regurgitated seemingly without further investigation. How about countering them with questions as to how the other projects are fairing? I assume if there's a receive email there must be a point of contact?
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
Cheers for that. From Companies House:
Name & Registered Office:
Company No. 06585853
Status: Dissolved 22/07/2013
Date of Incorporation: 07/05/2008

And from CompanyCheck:
Assets: £40K
Liabilities: £2M

See also
where Gigler Ltd (the "ISP" in Bournemouth, company formerly known as FibreCity Wessex) is listed as "non trading" (or Dormant, at Companies House).

What a complicated world it is.
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
Greg Mesch is quoted in the press release as CEO at CityFibre.

On LinkedIn he claims to be a Director at CityFibre and claims to have been educated in Denver.

At CompanyCheck there is a Greg Mesch with two directorships (both resigned) and with a Denver address, but he is not shown as a director of CityFibre.

Anyone else fancy a go at this, or are we bored by now?

Anybody in Peterborough want to contact your council (officials or councillors) just so they can form their own opinion.
Posted by whatever2 over 3 years ago
It was an obvious scam right from the start. Same MO every time. Persuade a few investors to chip in. Approach a council which has no clue about IT. Sell them the fibre thing for their uses with the carrot of a superfast fibre city. Very vaguely hook up ISP's and installation to make it sound like it's feasible. Await buyer. When reality bites, move to next town. Launch PR (sponsor some motorsport) Repeat.

Posted by whatever2 over 3 years ago
What I can't understand is why an experienced and often critical site seems to just not be interested in delving into the story and still reports the main headline, instead of something like "another Gigabit turkey almost ready for xmas."
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
"When reality bites, move to next town."

Indeed, although you may have left out:

"leave sponsors (e.g. councils) and potential customers disappointed, and less cautious suppliers (eg Fujitsu for streetworks) owed significant amounts of money"

Also venture capitalists tapped for funding may lose out too, but they're supposed to be investment professionals so I have little sympathy with them.
Posted by whatever2 over 3 years ago
Oh i'm sure that will all be covered when the next Gigabit article is published. ;)
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
OK, tiny bit more digging (?) reveals an interesting quote from Velocity1 (the other alleged retail ISP in Fibrecity Bournemouth), from May 2012: "we are already in advanced negotiations to launch services into other geographic areas of the UK outside of London"

So, May 2012, no active service outside London, just "advanced negotiations" in an unspecified location.

Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Maybe I need to be more blunt, as it seems subtle wording does not get noticed.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
© 2012 CityFibre Holdings Limited
Gigler is a trademark of CityFibre Holdings Limited
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
"Gigler is a trademark of CityFibre Holdings Limited "

So it is. Before our very eyes, in grey and white, on the very Gigler website I looked at yesterday. Also at, registered to CityFibre's Company Secretary, David Fleming, as of 23 Aug 2012.

C'mon Mr S, be less subtle, I'm sure I'm not the only one struggling with all this :)
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
What is interesting is the way we get all excited and happy about fibre projects abroad but when it happens in the UK we see all the negative sides.

Hint - try and find out how many homes passed and take a service in Kansas City.
Posted by themanstan over 3 years ago
Let's be fair, when gigaclear or hyperoptic announces a rollwe are properly excited... they have a good track record. Here there seems to be a disconnect between roll-out and service availability,as well as a variety of financial winding ups.
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
"when it happens in the UK we see all the negative sides."

When people promise and don't deliver, when companies use goods and services and don't pay up, when articles based on press releases paint a fraction of the real picture (not meaning here, btw)...

Those are realities, not just the negative sides.

If you want to quote foreign examples, how about Brisbane, Australia.

They had to abandon their plan for citywide fibre through the sewers (can you guess who yet?).
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
"Mr Collins said work to connect thousands of homes in the city will only start if there is sufficient demand for the service." - Mark Collins, the director of regulation and public policy.
Posted by c_j_ over 3 years ago
Cheers herdwick, and kudos to PhilT (is that the same one we know here and at ISPreview?) and Litmus in the comments on that Peterborough Telegraph article.

Including the comment which links back here :)

It's good to have real competition to BT (Peterborough Council's previous primary telco) but...
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