Publishing Date: Mar 09, 2021

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CityFibre is bringing full fibre connectivity within reach of up to 8 million homes in towns and cities across the UK as part of its up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme. They are already working with launch partner, Vodafone to deliver next generation broadband services, and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon.

Thames Valley

Work to bring full fibre connectivity to communities across the Thames Valley has taken a significant step forward with CityFibre set to break ground on two new town-wide infrastructure roll-outs in Bracknell and Maidenhead. The project marks a major milestone in future-proofing the digital needs of residents and businesses today, and for generations to come.

Construction of Bracknell’s £20m full fibre network is set to commence in less than two weeks’ time, with work on Maidenhead’s £14m infrastructure roll-out on track to begin in mid-April.

VolkerSmart Technologies, which is already undertaking work in Slough and Swindon on behalf of CityFibre, will be constructing the town-wide infrastructure in both Bracknell and Maidenhead. The Jennett’s Park area will be the first location in Bracknell where construction work will take place, with Kidwells Park chosen as the location for the first build site in Maidenhead.

The team will use a range of construction methods while working in close partnership with local communities, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council and Bracknell Forrest Council to deliver a fast rollout, while minimising potential disruption. Each area will usually take a few weeks to complete; however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days. Meanwhile, CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.

The roll-outs in both locations are expected to reach completion in 2024 but services will go live as areas are completed, enabling people to take advantage of enhanced digital connectivity much sooner.

CityFibre is constructing in many locations across the Thames Valley, including Swindon and Slough where construction began in October 2020. The build is progressing well, with work now underway in the Stratton and Haydon Wick areas of Swindon and in Slough, work is ongoing across the Britwell area, heading west on Farnham Road.

Meanwhile, construction of Reading’s full fibre network kicked off shortly afterwards in January this year in the Norcot and Battle areas, with Instalcom delivering the build programme on CityFibre’s behalf.

Speaking of the project, Stacey King, CityFibre’s City Manager for the Thames Valley, said: “I’m immensely excited that work is ready to begin in Bracknell and Maidenhead, as well as proud to see the progress that is being made across the region. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the Thames Valley as it gets ready to thrive in the digital age.

“It’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term – once the network’s built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs for decades to come.”

Paul Bettison, Leader at Bracknell Forest Council, said: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering this major digital infrastructure investment programme in Bracknell. This will support the regeneration activity we have started within Bracknell and will be vital as our key sectors such as retail look to rebuild.”

Cllr Andrew Johnson, Leader at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council, said: “CityFibre’s investment in Maidenhead and the wider region is crucial at a time when connectivity has never been so important. This once in a generation upgrade will deliver a town-wide network that will benefit residents, businesses and services. Providing opportunities for new skills and ways of working which will ensure Maidenhead and the wider region remains at the forefront of economic growth as we look to the future.”


Preston is to benefit from an investment of £30m in its digital future, as part of CityFibre’s plans to upgrade the nation’s legacy networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.

The state-of-the-art infrastructure is expected to boost business productivity and innovation and deliver millions in economic benefits for Preston, while giving residents access to the UK’s fastest broadband services.

Detailed planning is already underway as CityFibre, the UK’s third national infrastructure platform, designs a network capable of serving Preston’s current and future demands. Upon completion, the network will be in reach of nearly every home and business in the city. It will also provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications, as well as the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

CityFibre has appointed Steve Thorpe as City Manager to spearhead delivery of the Preston project, which is due to commence in May, with work expected to be completed within the next three years. In this role, Steve will be responsible for ensuring the full fibre network is implemented with minimal disruption while delivering maximum benefit for the wider community.

Steve will be the lead point of contact for all the city’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring to Preston’s residents and businesses.

Steve said: “Digital connectivity has never been more important. Full Fibre broadband will help households access all the latest entertainment at lightning speed, but the benefits are far deeper than that – from enabling smart home technology to giving people the freedom to work from home with ease. This is particularly vital with us spending more time in our homes than ever.

“With our build partners, we will do everything possible to minimise disruption as we begin to roll out this game-changing technology. This project will future-proof Preston and lay the foundations for its digital transformation, whilst enabling vital economic recovery.”

Councillor Peter Moss, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Planning and Regulation at Preston City Council, added: “This is an exciting project and we welcome investment in the city that will provide residents and businesses with access to fast and future proof digital infrastructure.

“The role of digital is becoming more and more important in our everyday lives and the ways we conduct business so it’s vital that our city benefits from access to the latest digital infrastructure and the advantages this brings to everyone living and working in the city.

“Projects like this are essential to our plans for growth and development in the city and demonstrates that Preston is an exciting and vibrant place to live and do business.”

The network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers.


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