CityFibre network upgrade makes 10Gbps broadband possible

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CityFibre is planning a network-wide upgrade that will allow its broadband provider partners to offer services with 10Gbps download and upload speeds.

Starting from April 2023, the company will deploy Calix and Nokia’s XGS-PON technology across its entire network infrastructure, following a successful trial in York.  

PON (Passive Optical Network) is used for the last mile of a broadband connection, linking businesses and households (along with mobile infrastructure) to the wider internet. This essentially describes the fibre connection between a house, cabinet, and exchange.

CityFibre PON

The company is one of several firms rolling out fibre to the premise (FTTP) across the UK, targeting more than eight million homes and businesses by 2025.

It is the third largest network infrastructure operator after Openreach and Virgin Media O2 and the upgrade means wholesale customers like Vodafone will be able to offer much more advanced services.

Indeed, Nokia says its Lightspan technology is upgradable to 25G, paving the way for even faster speeds in the future. Openreach and Nokia have already successfully tested 25G-PON in lab trials, while Vodafone and Nokia have started work using 100G-PON.

“CityFibre is committed to building a Full Fibre network [that provides] our partners and their customers with the fastest and most reliable services at the best value,” said John Franklin, CityFibre CTIO. “By partnering with Calix and Nokia we now have two trusted and market-leading technology vendors underpinning a nationwide 10Gbps XGS-PON technology deployment programme.

“Our parallel deployment of a high-capacity national backbone to carry virtually unlimited traffic alongside this XGS-PON deployment programme will deliver a highly efficient and adaptable network for the future. This in turn will enable our ISP partners to offer a differentiated range of services in full confidence that speed and service quality can be maintained as consumer and business bandwidth demand continues to rise.”

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.