First Vodafone and CityFibre Gigabit homes go live

fibre optic

Fifty homes in Milton Keynes are set to receive ultrafast broadband speeds in a trial that will precede the rollout of Vodafone's Gigabit broadband to millions of homes and businesses across the UK.

Select Vodafone UK customers will benefit from speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps), approximately 20 times faster than services available on the market today, that will run over the full fibre network of optic cables built by infrastructure provider CityFibre.

Vodafone will make the service more widely available in Milton Keynes following the initial trial this summer, hoping to roll out the service to other towns and cities and reach a million homes by 2021. Ultimately Vodafone and Cityfibre hope to bring full fibre to five million homes and businesses by 2025.

"At Vodafone, we want to play our part to help the UK advance as a digital leader," said Vodafone UK's chief operating officer Neil Blagden.

"The benefits of full fibre broadband are clear. Indeed, full fibre is vital to driving growth and productivity in our digital economy."

Blagden said the new Gigabit service will not only improve download speeds, but improve performance when broadband is being used by multiple users in a single property, and open up a greater possibility of deploying smart technology and devices in homes and offices.

The service will run over optic cables at every stage of the connection, instead of the current practice of routing fibre optic connections through legacy copper-based wires that connect homes and businesses to a roadside cabinet.

Construction of the full fibre network has already begun in Peterborough, according to the telecommunications company, with further work set to begin shortly in a variety of locations including Coventry, Edinburgh and Huddersfield.

"Bringing the first Gigabit homes online in Milton Keynes is a great moment for full fibre in the UK and shows just how quickly this powerful partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre can bring towns and cities transformative digital connectivity," said CityFibre's chief executive, Greg Mesch.

"These networks are future-proof, capable of delivering Gigabit speeds today but potentially up to 40 Gigabits per second in the near future.

"Milton Keynes is the first to benefit but not the last: CityFibre intends to bring this technology to at least five million homes and businesses by 2025, with Gigabit towns and cities becoming a reality across the UK."

Vodafone's progress on delivering its Gigabit service will be welcome news to the government's National Infrastructure Commission, which called for full fibre broadband coverage across the whole UK by 2033 in its first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

The commission called for the government to devise a nationwide plan to implement next-generation broadband by spring 2019, with the underlying aim of bringing the technology to 15 million homes and businesses by 2025, and to all by 2033.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.