The contracts will subsidise the rollout of full fibre infrastructure to more than 202,000 rural properties in Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, Sussex, Kent, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire and Milton Keynes, that would otherwise be excluded from commercial rollouts.
The five new contracts, awarded under a competitive public procurement process, total more than £394 million in government subsidy.
In line with its strategy, CityFibre will continue to expand and densify its existing network footprint in these areas alongside Project Gigabit, bringing its rollout to almost 450,000 additional premises across the awarded regions within its 8 million rollout programme.
That will bring the total premises benefiting from the new awards to around 651,000. Detailed planning will begin immediately with the first premises expected to be connected in early 2025.
CityFibre is already delivering Project Gigabit contracts in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, and Hampshire. Alongside the latest contracts, this accounts for more than £782m in government subsidies and unlocks almost £1.2 billion in combined public and private investment in rural broadband.
Built using gold-standard XGS-PON technology, capable of supporting speeds of up to 10Gbps, CityFibre’s full fibre network will enable its current and future ISP partners to serve customers with faster and more reliable broadband services than legacy copper-based networks.
Greg Mesch, chief executive officer at CityFibre, said, “We’re thrilled to be a key delivery partner for the government on this critical infrastructure project, transforming the digital capabilities of rural homes and businesses across the country. But that’s just the start.
“We’re continuing to expand our commercial rollout alongside Project Gigabit, extending infrastructure choice, multi-gigabit speeds, and unparalleled reliability to hundreds of thousands of additional premises in these regions.”
Data and Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said, “We’re wasting no time in our mission to bring lightning-fast broadband to rural areas - with a billion pounds in contracts already signed with broadband companies to get our next-generation network up and running.
“Project Gigabit is already driving growth, creating jobs and putting an end to snail’s pace internet speeds, and we will continue to work rapidly to ensure people feel the benefits of our rollout to even more places across the UK as quickly as possible.”