Leading independent provider awarded multiple Project Gigabit contracts

Britain’s frontrunner for providing independent full-fibre networks, CityFibre, recently won an additional stake in the government’s £5 billion programme known as Project Gigabit.

After securing the subsidised deployment of gigabit-capable network infrastructure to more than 218,000 rural businesses and homes, the provider has now been awarded an additional five contracts. During its roll-out, CityFibre will supply gigabit access to around 202,000 rural premises that would have otherwise been excluded from the roll-out phases of more established service providers.

The UK Government’s Project Gigabit initiative plays a key role in its ambition to ensure that 85 per cent of the country can access gigabit-capable connections by the end of next year. The project also aims to deliver total coverage nationwide by 2030.

Supporting major rollouts by leading broadband network providers like Virgin Media, O2 and Openreach, and alternative network suppliers, the government’s Project Gigabit was first introduced back in 2021. Its main objective at the time was to help accelerate the country’s recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic, driving high-growth sectors like the UK’s creative industries and levelling up the nations by spreading wealth and creating new jobs.

When it launched, the government pledged that it would prioritise parts of the UK that currently struggled with slow internet connections that might be left behind when not included in the plans of bigger broadband companies.

CityFibre is presently rolling out Project Gigabit contracts in areas like Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, Suffolk and Norfolk. Its five new contracts will see its reach extended to Milton Keynes and counties like Buckinghamshire, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Leicestershire, Kent, Warwickshire, Sussex, Northamptonshire and Bedfordshire.