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cityfibre's halifax re-boot.

The new generation of full fibre infrastructure is urgently needed to make the UK economy fit to compete on the world stage, as well as transforming the digital capabilities of individuals. CityFibre was founded to play a major part in this development, and today it operates the UK's largest independent full fibre platform.

However, one of its flagship projects, the installation of a new gigabit-capable fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across Halifax in west Yorkshire, stalled on the starting line in January 2022. The Halifax scheme was announced in August 2021 and everything was set for a deployment that would deliver coverage to "nearly every home and business" in the town.

The civil engineering enterprise NMCN was due to begin construction at the start of 2022. Instead the firm went into administration, throwing the future of CityFibre's £23 million project into doubt.

Fortunately the uncertainty has now been resolved with the announcement of a new contractor, the Manchester-based Network Plus, which will take over the project. Work has now begun in the Queens Road area, and should be completed in 2024.

The Halifax roll-out is part of CityFibre's £4.9 billion investment programme, which has so far seen 1.7 million properties connected to the full fibre network. By the end of 2025 they expect to have reached 8 million premises in 285 cities, towns and villages, which represents about 30% of the UK. It will also cover some 800,000 business, 400,000 public sector sites and 250,000 5G access points.

CityFibre is also working under the government's Project Gigabit initiative to supply connectivity to many more remote rural areas. The company's Area Manager for Halifax is Steve Moore. He expressed the company's pleasure at being able to resume the project:

"Our investment is set to transform the digital capabilities of residents and businesses in Halifax, and we're delighted to announce our partnership with Network Plus as the first phase of the project commences. We cannot wait for residents and businesses to access our network and see what is possible with digital connectivity that propels you forward rather than holds you back.

"As well as future-proofing Halifax's digital infrastructure and capabilities, this project is providing a welcome boost to the jobs market. It's created 40 new roles, with local talent needed to help us carry out this important project."

Virgin Media are CityFibre's only true rivals in Halifax, Openreach having been left some way behind.

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