Fibre networks have been pretty common in the UK for some years, the bit that has been missing is suitable price points and retail offerings to consumers and small businesses. The latest partnership between CityFibre and Coventry City Council may be another small step to making fibre to the premises (be that a home or business) more widely available.
"Ultrafast gigabit speed connectivity is vital for Coventry businesses to enable them to compete and succeed not just on the national, but also on the international stage. As a Gigabit City, Coventry can now set itself alongside the most digitally advanced locations around the world and we look forward to the numerous social and economic advantages that such a status will bring; driving economic investment and catalysing business start-ups."Cllr Damian Gannon, Cabinet Member, Strategic Finance and Resources, at Coventry City Council
While the partnership is talking a lot about Coventry being a Gigabit City, it really already was in one sense since a fibre network stretching some 140km connecting some 300 buildings as part of the Coventry CORE network should already by gigabit capable. The difference now that CityFibre has acquired the network (we do not know whether CityFibre paid the council for the network, or whether the acquisition includes a service contract for council buildings) is that CityFibre appear to be planning to build out from the core to bring service closer to businesses over the course of the summer.
With Coventry in the SuperConnected Cities voucher scheme there is almost some guaranteed business for CityFibre as firms will use their vouchers to subsidise the connection fee.
Towards the end of May, CityFibre also announced they had raised £30 million of investment funding and are in discussion with 25 other city councils. The question now is how fast will large numbers of connections be delivered, and if the FTTH roll-out in York goes well we might just see CityFibre rolling out the FTTH element in its other Gigabit Cities.