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CityFibre unveils plans to upgrade all its infrastructure

CityFibre, the UK’s largest carrier-neutral wholesale Full Fibre infrastructure platform, will begin deploying XGS-PON access technology as standard from April 2023. This will enable the introduction of residential and business services at symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbps – around ten times the capability of CityFibre’s current G-PON based architecture.

The rollout of XGS-PON will allow CityFibre to support more customers on each OLT port, enabling substantial network cost savings, reducing power use across its networks and improving the efficiency of its future network expansion.

CityFibre has chosen market-leading vendors Calix and Nokia as its XGS-PON technology partners. Calix has been CityFibre’s G-PON technology partner since 2018, playing a foundational role in the development of CityFibre’s Full Fibre network. Meanwhile Nokia has provided critical support for CityFibre’s service aggregation platform since 2016. These two trusted partners will ensure diversity of supply chain – a vital part of any critical national infrastructure deployment.

CityFibre’s existing G-PON network was designed to enable rapid future upgrade to XGS-PON. A smooth upgrade path for this has now been proven through the successful completion of a whole-city pilot G-PON to XGS-PON technology upgrade in York – representing the largest of its kind in the UK so far. The York upgrade was undertaken in partnership with Calix, LambdaNetworks and Splice Group.

The pilot project’s purpose was to evaluate and address all the technical, process and customer experience challenges of upgrading our live network. The first customers have now been connected to the new platform with near perfect optical testing results. The successful outcome enables CityFibre to work with its ISP partners to upgrade end-customer ONTs in phases going forward, thereby minimising any network upgrade related service experience impacts.

John Franklin, Chief Technology and Information Officer at CityFibre said: “CityFibre is committed to building a Full Fibre network that is Better By Design, providing our partners and their customers with the fastest and most reliable services at the best value. 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.”

CT Bureau

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