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What is CityFibre?

CityFibre are a full fibre network founded in 2011 with a mission to build a full fibre infrastructure across the UK, to benefit average citizens as well as businesses alike. In the decade since their launch, CityFibre have become the UK's largest independent, full fibre broadband network. CityFibre has built the infrastructure to provide gigabit speed, broadband that is future proof, 5G service and ethernet to many homes and businesses, as well as public facilities such as hospitals or schools.

Their network is being used by a number of broadband providers in the UK which offer a great variety of different deals at different price points.

History of CityFibre

Founded in 2011 by Greg Mesch, CityFibre's aim has been to revolutionise the broadband infrastructure across the UK, which only a decade ago has seen many addresses with only slow connections. By building their network using full fibre connections, their infrastructure would be future-proof by providing superior speeds and reliability compared to older cable technologies.

CityFibre have built all their full fibre networks from scratch which has the benefit of overseeing quality control right at the source. With a £4 billion rollout, they have become the third largest broadband infrastructure builder in the UK, connecting businesses, homes and public sectors to fast, and reliable full fibre internet.

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CityFibre's network has been built to enable speeds of over 100 Gbps. This smart technology ensures that any bandwidth demands in the future can be comfortably met. Furthermore, CityFibre have high-tech fibre exchanges serving 60,000 premises each. These are highly secured and climate-controlled using renewable energy sources.

Thanks to a £4bn Gigabit City Investment, CityFibre will be rolling out their network to 8 million households, 800k business, and 400k public sector sites, across over 285 cities in the UK. By 2025, CityFibre will have reached a third of the UK market.

Is CityFibre a broadband provider?

CityFibre are a broadband network run on full fibre. This network is used by a range of broadband providers, however CityFibre themselves do no offer broadband deals through their own website or under their branding.

It is common for broadband providers to utilise an existing cable or fibre network, and to simply been charge of offering deals with varying speeds and prices, as well as their own customer service under their own branding.

Only few broadband networks provide broadband under the same brand. The most notable example is Virgin Media who do not share their network with any other providers. Similarly, on a smaller scale, G Network and CommunityFibre can only be accessed directly.

Which broadband providers use the CityFibre network?

Like Openreach (one of the largest broadband networks in the UK), CityFibre have partnerships with a number of broadband providers that make use of their full fibre connections across the country.

Some of them include:

Vodafone, Air, Zen, Fibrehop, FibreConnect, IDnet, Digital Home, TalkTalk, Granite, Gigabit, Boundless Networks, Giganet, Juice Broadband Poole, Purefibre, BrandRaw, Pure broadband, No one (better connected), Legend Fibre and Quickline.

Whilst some or all broadband deals by the providers above are run on the CityFibre network, their pricing, speeds and other extras such as routers, bundles or customer service will depend on each provider.

What are some alternatives to CityFibre?

The largest broadband network across the country is Openreach, with close to 400,000 subscribers through various broadband providers.

Openreach have been around since 2006 and have built a combination of ADSL, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) networks across the country. Whilst some of the connections used are becoming outdated, Openreach can be credited with being the first network to provide internet speeds of 30 Mbps and above to over 280 million households.

Because of their large reach, it is very likely that either you or someone you know is getting their internet provided by the Openreach Network.

  • Virgin Media Network

Another large broadband network is Virgin Media, who act as both a network and broadband provider. Similarly to Openreach they have a combination of connections allowing for varying speeds depending on location. Whilst their network only has about 60% of UK coverage, some of their deals have download speeds of 1 Gbps, which is considered to be very fast.

Unlike Openreach or CityFibre, the Virgin Media network is only accessible when switching to a Virgin Media Broadband deal.

G Network are another broadband network that can only be accessed through their own brand G Network. Founded in 2016, G Network are rolling out their own full fibre network, with exceptional speeds. One downside is that the network is only available in London at the moment.

Similarly, CommunityFibre are London broadband network and provider with full fibre connections. Founded in 2010, CommunityFibre have started their expansion of fast internet connections in London, but hope to be moving to other parts of the country soon.

If you happen to live in London and are looking for fast speeds, CommunityFibre are worth considering.

What is next for CityFibre?

By 2025 CityFibre aim to have reached a third of UK addresses with their full fibre broadband connections. If your postcode is not on the list yet, but you are living in or near a major city, it is likely only a matter of time until you can access CityFibre's broadband network through one of many broadband providers.

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