Talk of strategic partnerships, benefits already seen by businesses and citizens in another CityFibre city, i.e. York all sound very grandiose but the real proof will be what is actually delivered and how different the service will be compared to the range of options already available in Peterborough.
"This is a major step forward in our objective to deliver Gigabit cities that can provide businesses and consumers with the huge benefits of ultra-fast broadband connectivity. The scale of our plans and the strategic partnership with Peterborough City Council will enable us to deploy an infrastructure that can create jobs, boost the productivity of existing businesses and attract new companies into the city."Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre
The benefits to CityFibre signing of the strategic partnership are not spelt out in explicit terms, but the presumption is that Peterborough City Council have agreed to buy services over the network at an attractive price, thus operating as the anchor tenant for the 90km fibre ring that is set to be built across the City, with the first phase (note not total completion) in 18 months time.
Virgin Media has an extensive presence in the city and thus its range of DOCSIS and full fibre business products will be available to businesses and with Openreach FTTC services available a good many areas will already have a choice of a wide range of providers. So the question really is why is CityFibre investing? One presumes they hope to attract business customers with lower prices and/or faster speeds than existing service providers.
The roll-out of a fibre ring in York has to date not provided any benefit to home owners, and the take-up in Bournemouth is so small (we believe around 250 customers out of a potential 21,000) that CityFibre rarely mention the figures. So full marks for a well worded press release, and it makes one wonder how many other countries we read about have similar Gigabit city announcements that don't fully deliver.
A word of warning for those that think current fibre to the premises deployments are future proof, if research to produce hollow fibre (i.e. no loss of signal in the glass) pays off then many miles of fibre may end up being removed to improve latency and allow for longer fibre distances. Nothing is absolutely future proof, something always comes along to replace it.
If CityFibre was to target a city or town that had no cable coverage and no existing FTTC infrastructure our reaction would be different.