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65,000 customer target for York FTTH network in 2015?
Tuesday 12 August 2014 11:45:19 by Andrew Ferguson

CityFibre is keen to deliver news on winning contracts and positive achievements, so one suspects that the coverage in the Yorkshire Post may not be a deliberate attempt to mislead but a not uncommon mix-up on the terminology and figures used.

Coverage of an EasyNet/CityFibre agreement that will see CityFibre providing dark fibre for use in the Public Sector Network in the Yorkshire Post needs a little clarification. Metro fibre networks are not new, many cities have fibre available if willing to pay the right price, which is often too high for consumer and small business the expansion by CityFibre is about adding competition to that area and with the core network being used widely by the councils, savings can be passed on to businesses.

"The new joint venture company will build a state-of-the-art, pure fibre-to-the-premise network, delivering broadband speeds of 1 gigabit (1,000 Mbps) to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in York.

The service will be city-wide and will aim to sign up between 65,000 and 85,000 customers when it launches next year.

The first part of the city to be connected will be the north and the joint venture has plans to reduce disruption to a minimum.

Yorkshire Post on CityFibre FTTH trial

We chased up with CityFibre over the FTTH comments for York and they have confirmed that the trial is actually 20,000 homes with the first customers being connected in 2015, a very different thing to signing up 65,000 customers. For the record York only has around 80,000 households with the balance being businesses. So 100% take-up for a new network that has to be rolled out to each property would be astounding in the first year.

The location of the trial in the north part of the city is interesting, one presumes they will avoid the North West sector where Virgin Media cable has a high presence (39% coverage across the whole of York. Huntington and New Earswick look more likely to us unless the aim is to compete with Virgin Media, something that Sky may be very interested in doing. Remember that most of York will have FTTC via Openreach and some clusters of FTTP too, the majority of the Openreach network roll-out commercially funded, but parts of York are in the scope of the BDUK process.

The FTTH trial in York is part three of the CityFibre strategy, so phase 1 being aggregated demand (e.g. 105 council sites in York, started in 2011), phase 2 targeted growth at key businesses in an area and phase 3 being the consumer and SME roll-out. Phase 3 in York is due for launch in July 2015.

"Micro trenching is one of the fastest methods of deploying FTTH. A micro-trencher can cover hundreds of metres per day, passing all the homes in a street and leaving drop-off points in the footpath. When customers sign-up for service, all that remains is a simple installation, connecting the fibre to the home, passing through the drive or garden."

CityFibre on micro-trenching speed

The Yorkshire Post and Greg Mesch from CityFibre talked about doing a whole road in a day, and we chased to find out whether this included the drop to the outside wall of each home, which would be amazingly fast, but the comment was referring to the speed of the micro-trenching tools, rather than the splicing in of the final drop segment to each home.


Posted by herdwick over 2 years ago
CityFibre seem good at getting councils on the hook and at PR. Retail connectivity ? wait and see.....
Posted by dparr59 over 2 years ago
Micro trenching
Posted by FTTH over 2 years ago
Have you seen this trenching in use?
It will be interesting to see results in a UK 'pavement' with loose fill underneath and variable quality tarmac.

I don't think carriageways can be used yet.

I really hope it can work well, it will open up many potential FTTP projects if it can deliver.

Posted by GMAN99 over 2 years ago
I've seen VM use it, albeit it short runs from their ducts to the home
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Government advice for microtrenching for SFBB:
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Basic advice is to use other infrastructure if available (incl PIA), and to use MT at a depth between 175mm and 250mm in a road with at least 325mm of "bound material".

There is no mention of use of MT in a footway, even though the document does show the current recommendations for utility layout in a standard 2m-wide path. It seems that they envisage MT to be in the road only.
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