First customer is connected to CityFibre's 'Project Gigabit' network with Vodafone's new 2.2Gbps broadband service

Project Gigabit

First customer is connected to CityFibre's 'Project Gigabit' network with Vodafone's new 2.2Gbps broadband service

8 July 2024

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CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has connected the first customer to its new network in Cambridgeshire, rolled-out as part of the government’s ‘Project Gigabit’ programme. The programme provides subsidy to extend full fibre rollouts to hard-to-reach rural homes and businesses across the UK in areas that might otherwise miss out on upgrades to next-generation speeds.

The first customer, based in the village of Grantchester, has been connected by Vodafone and is taking its new ultrafast 2.2Gbps symmetrical broadband service. The new speed tier, launched today, is Vodafone’s fastest home broadband service and is available exclusively on CityFibre’s national network.

The customer is a lecturer in film, requiring the frequent transferring of large video files, and has a young family. He was previously served by a legacy copper-based Fibre to the Cabinet network, delivering maximum speeds of 80Mbps downstream and just 18Mbps upstream. Vodafone’s new 2.2Gbps service represents a significant improvement in service experience, offering over 27 times faster downloads and over 122 times faster upload speeds.

Josh Newman, from Grantchester, Cambridgeshire said “I'm a filmmaker and a film lecturer, so I deal with quite large files. But my upload speed at the moment tops out at 18Mbps. It just means that uploading cuts, uploading rushes, takes a really long time. And it really throttles the internet for everyone in the house and there's four of us.

"My wife is working for the NHS, doing a lot of video conferences, dealing with research in public health. So her internet connection is vital for what she does. My children obviously are using the Internet for entertainment and also for school work. So we're a fairly high-usage family. It will be really significant for us to have faster internet. I’m looking forward to the benefits it will bring us.”

The connection marks an important milestone for CityFibre, which is rolling out its 10Gbps-capable full fibre networks to almost 465,000 hard-to-reach homes through the Project Gigabit programme.

Rob Winterschladen, Consumer Director, at Vodafone UK, said: “We’re proud to connect the first customer to our fastest ever broadband service of 2.2Gbps. Not only is this a market-leading service, but it is also powering the first customer on CityFibre’s new rural network rolled out to support government's Project Gigabit programme. Project Gigabit is a game-changer for rural communities, who can now enjoy the same full fibre benefits of gigabit speeds and improved reliability as those living in cities. Whether it’s for work, education, entertainment or socialising, our customers can do more of what they love online, with no limits.”

Simon Holden, Group Chief Operations Officer at CityFibre, said: “We’re thrilled to see the first customer connected on our Project Gigabit rollout and to welcome Vodafone’s launch of its fastest home broadband service exclusively over our network. This is an important milestone for CityFibre and for the hundreds of thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses left stranded on legacy copper networks. We look forward to working with government and our partners to bring the benefits of full fibre and multi-gig services to rural premises nationwide.”