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Fibrecity to take root in five more towns

The sewer fibre specialist names the towns where it will build networks within the next 12 months, in addition to the Bournemouth and Dundee works already under way
Written by Richard Thurston, Contributor

Another five UK towns are set to be hooked up to the Fibrecity network, which uses sewer ducts to provide 100Mbps broadband connections.

Fibrecity Holdings has already begun rolling out its fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure in Bournemouth and Dundee. On Thursday, it said it will expand its coverage to Derby, Halton (Cheshire), Nottingham, Plymouth and York and that it aims to start building out those networks within 12 months.

In addition, the company said it is considering deploying super-fast broadband networks in Belfast, Aberdeen, Ipswich, Bristol and Birmingham.

If it builds out these networks, Fibrecity calculates that by 2014, it will have connected one million British homes and businesses — or around four percent of the population — with fibre broadband.

"Today marks another significant step forward in our quest to bring open next-generation internet connectivity to homes across the UK," said Elfed Thomas, chief executive of Fibrecity's parent company i3 Group, in a statement. Formerly known as H20, i3 was set up eight years ago.

Fibrecity sells purely on a wholesale basis, which means that it requires ISPs to deliver services to end-users. In February, it revealed it had signed up three ISPs for its Bournemouth network. However, one of the ISPs — Vispa — has so far failed to launch services, according to Fibrecity.

The Bournemouth project, begun in 2008, has connected 35,000 homes, Fibrecity said — less than half of the planned 88,000. The company declined to reveal how many subscribers it had for that network.

A statement sent to ZDNet UK by i3 suggested that Fibrecity might ditch the sewer-based approach for future developments, in favour of using existing ducts and micro-trenching.

Separately on Thursday, BT said it plans to extend its rollout of fibre to two-thirds of the British population, using FTTH and fibre to the cabinet (FTTC).

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