BBWN Bites: Fiber goes west
In this roundup: Regions of the UK and western US see new fiber rollouts and network launches, spearheaded by CityFibre, Openreach, Crosslake Fibre, Google and TDS.
- Work is underway in Wolverhampton to replace the UK city's existing network infrastructure with full fiber, thanks to an investment of £50 million (US$62.7 million) by CityFibre. The investment is part of the national digital infrastructure platform's plan to replace the UK's infrastructure with gigabit-capable fiber connectivity. In a press release, the company said that once the Wolverhampton service is live, it will be made available from "from an increasing range of broadband providers" including existing partner Vodafone, with TalkTalk expected to join soon.
- Northern Ireland is set to see fiber expansion as well: Openreach announced plans this week to extend its high-speed, full-fiber broadband network to an additional 94 rural towns and villages by March 2022. While Northern Ireland fares better overall than most of the UK in terms of high-speed Internet access, that is not the case for its rural villages and towns which suffer some of the slowest speeds in the country. Openreach said these additional 94 towns slated for fiber builds bring the total to 124, and that the company is trying to pass 750 premises every day.
- Crosslake Fibre announced plans to sink a 550-kilometer subsea fiber-optic cable in the English Channel. According to the company, the cable will contain 96 fiber pairs, each providing over 20 Tbit/s of capacity throughput; and it will connect Slough, UK, to Paris, France. EGS is to conduct a maritime survey and the network is projected to go live in late 2021.
- Moving over to the Western US, Google Fiber makes the news again this week (after being quiet for a few years) with the announcement that it will expand in Utah, with construction to start in the city of Millcreek later this year. This new build comes as Google Fiber nears completion of its Salt Lake City network, and the company expects the Millcreek network to go live in early 2021.
- And in Wisconsin, TDS Telecom announced the completion of fiber network builds in the village of Oregon and the city of McFarland, thus connecting an additional 11,000 homes and businesses to up to 1-gigabit Internet. The project was first announced in 2018, and it required installing over 140 miles of fiber both aerially and below ground.
— Nicole Ferraro, contributing editor, Light Reading
Here's where you can find episode links for 'The Divide,' Light Reading's podcast series featuring conversations with broadband providers and policymakers working to close the digital divide.
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