Kim Johnston, Regional Partnership Manager for CityFibre in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon, answers some of the frequently asked questions regarding the full fibre roll out across the region.
What is CityFibre and what is it doing in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon?
CityFibre is on a mission to future-proof the UK’s connectivity from the ground up – literally! We’re building brand new digital communications infrastructure across the region, bringing the best available technology (full fibre) within reach of nearly every home and business.
This is a game-changer for the region as it will last for generations and help to drive the region’s growth now, enabling residents and businesses to benefit from ultra-fast internet speeds, while also unlocking a world of opportunities in the future.
This is all part of our up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme, which will see us bring full fibre within reach of up to 8 million homes and businesses across the UK by 2025.
What’s your role at CityFibre?
As a commercial lead in the region, I’m the main point of contact for local stakeholders and a key advocate of the many benefits that a full fibre network will bring to Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon.
Right at the heart of what we are trying to achieve are the local communities we will serve. It’s also very important in my role to ensure the build progresses smoothly and that residents and businesses are kept updated every step of the way.
Why is full fibre different to what I’ve got already?
The difference between full fibre and ‘regular’ fibre is significant, and even if you think you have ‘fibre broadband’ today, the chances are there’s copper in there somewhere holding you back. In fact, if your router connects to a normal telephone socket, then that’s what you’ve got.
Around 80% of UK homes still connect to the internet via networks built for telephones – copper networks designed to carry sound, not data. Our networks are designed specifically for the digital age and take 100% fibre optic technology all the way from the home to the point of connection.
Full fibre enables Gigabit speeds, reliable services and bandwidth that can grow as we need it. No more buffering when you’re trying to watch the latest Netflix series, a stable, reliable connection on Zoom calls and the family able to play on their consoles and computers simultaneously without any groans of ‘the broadband is down’.
What does Gigabit mean?
A standard broadband connection has an average download speed of around 6Mbps and ‘superfast broadband’ averages speeds of around 30Mbps.
Internet service providers (ISPs) that are offering broadband connections on our full fibre network can deliver colossal ‘Gigabit speeds’ of up to 1,000Mbps for both download and upload.
That’s over 30 times faster than a superfast connection!
Where are you working at the moment?
We are currently working in Knaresborough and Harrogate, with our build starting in Ripon in 2022.
You’ll be able to spot our teams in action in Knaresborough and Pannal in Harrogate and, before too long, we’ll have reached nearly every home and business locally.
How will I know when it’s coming to my area?
We use digital advertising and door knocking, where applicable, to inform residents of our plans, and we will post a letter through your door before construction is due to start in your street to let you know we are coming.
What do the works entail?
Most of the new full fibre network will be laid underground. This requires construction crews to dig trenches which can cause some disruption. However, the teams work quickly and should only be working outside each individual property for a couple of days, during which you may be asked to move your car or manoeuvre around barriers.
In some locations, existing telephone poles will be used to feed the cable to properties overhead, resulting in minimised disruption.
If you have any issues regarding access to your property or any questions regarding the build, please do speak to the build teams on-site who will be able to answer any questions.
How do I get it?
CityFibre doesn’t provide the end service to the customer, we only lay the fibre cable. Our networks are open access; currently in the area residents can purchase full fibre connections on our network via TalkTalk. A number of other Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be coming on board in the next month or two.
The easiest way to check if you can connect is to use the postcode checker on the CityFibre website. If it’s not available yet, you can register your interest and once works are complete, CityFibre will email you a list of available full fibre providers.