CityFibre gets to work on future-proofing Sunderland’s digital foundations with £62m full fibre investment

City communications

CityFibre gets to work on future-proofing Sunderland’s digital foundations with £62m full fibre investment

16 August 2021

Patrick Melia and Jason Legget 10 Sunderland

Work to bring full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in Sunderland gets underway today as CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, breaks ground on a new infrastructure rollout that will future-proof the city’s digital needs and further its smart city ambitions.

CityFibre is now coordinating advance works with the Council’s resurfacing programme across the city, ahead of the main £62m build programme commencing this month. Works will be delivered by MAP Group on CityFibre’s behalf using a range of construction methods to deliver a fast rollout, while minimising potential disruption.

Each area will usually take just a few weeks to complete; however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days and CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.

The overall project is expected to reach completion by 2025 and the first services will go live for people to take advantage of much sooner. As the network is completed in each neighbourhood, internet service providers (ISPs) will ‘light them up’ with some of the fastest and best value full fibre broadband packages available in the country.

The network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone to supply full fibre infrastructure for customers on selected Vodafone Pro Broadband plans and TalkTalk, with other providers expected to join the network soon.

Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and register their interest at

Speaking of the project, Jason Legget, CityFibre’s City Manager for Sunderland, said: “I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Sunderland. The city has truly embraced the potential of full fibre and has a robust plan in place to be a genuine leader in smart city technology.

“For residents, it’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term – once the network’s built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs now and for decades to come.”

Full fibre networks, unlike many of the copper-based ‘fibre broadband’ services available today, use 100% fibre optic cables to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This gives users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, near limitless bandwidth and connectivity users can depend on.

A full fibre connection also goes far beyond simply enabling access to the latest entertainment at lightning speed. As an essential digital utility, full fibre boosts households and businesses alike, with experts saying it will drive a range of economic benefits, such as making us more productive and innovative.

Patrick Melia, Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, said: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering its £62m infrastructure investment programme in Sunderland. This will deliver a citywide network that will benefit residents, businesses and services, enabling us to further accelerate Sunderland’s digital transformation and catalyse economic growth.

“This is a once in a generation upgrade that will future-proof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important. The digital age is here and we’re ready for it.”

CityFibre is bringing full fibre connectivity within reach of up to 8 million homes in towns and cities across the UK as part of its up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme. Find out more at