Zen Internet to be available across CityFibre network

29 March 2022, 13:32   By Dr Lucy Brown, Editor

CityFibre confirms that Zen Internet services will be available across all existing CityFibre areas by the end of 2022.

Zen Internet will also be available in all new CityFibre locations set to be reached by the end of 2025.

CityFibre currently offers full fibre broadband to 1.3 million premises across the UK, with another 200,000 being readied for service.

Last year, Vodafone became the first ISP to expand across CityFibre's entire full fibre footprint.

zen internet concept
Credit: Luis Molinero/Shutterstock.com

Zen Internet

A new contract signed between Zen Internet an CityFibre will see Zen full fibre broadband services available to customers in 285 locations by the end of 2025.

Over the next nine months, customers in existing CityFibre locations will see Zen Internet added to their roster of available suppliers if they aren't already listed.

Zen currently offer packages with speeds up to 900Mb across 31 CityFibre locations, up from the four initially agreed when the two companies confirmed a partnership back in late 2020.

We recently recognised Zen Internet in our 2022 Choose Broadband Awards, giving them Gold for Most Ethical and Bronze for Community Contribution.


This partnership extension between CityFibre and Zen is the second announced in the last few months.

In November 2021, Vodafone became the first ISP to expand across the whole CityFibre network and confirm they would be available across all CityFibre premises as the network continues to grow.

Other providers like Giganet and TalkTalk also use CityFibre networks in some locations, although these are not yet universal across the whole footprint.

It's CityFibre's aim to reach eight million premises by the end of 2025, and they reached an important milestone in late 2021 when they confirmed their network had passed more than a million homes and businesses.

They have since passed 1.5 million premises, although they are open in saying that only 1.3 million of those are considered ready for customers to sign up to.

Even so, it represents rapid expansion for a network operator with big ambitions, and the addition of Zen Internet as a partner across the whole network will mean customers have the choice of another big broadband name alongside the dozens of smaller ISPs CityFibre work with.

Full fibre broadband

All this comes against the backdrop of the Government's target to reach 85% of the UK with gigabit capable broadband by 2025 and 99% by 2030.

CityFibre's goal to pass eight million homes in the next three years is an important element alongside Openreach's goal to pass 25 million premises and Virgin Media's aim to expand their gigabit capable network too.

One of the problems with fibre to the premises (FTTP) expansion, however, is that networks are beginning to overlap each other significantly in some areas. This gives customers more choice in busy urban areas but means the builds aren't always adding to the overall number of premises able to get full fibre broadband.

We're also still waiting for clarification from the Government on how they expect to close the gap between 2025 when 85% of premises are expected to be covered primarily by commercial builds and the 99% coverage they want to achieve by 2030.

As we saw with the superfast broadband rollout, getting rural premises covered is a huge challenge and commercial builds simply don't find them financially viable.

While the Government's White Paper suggests they will commit to public investment to bridge this gap, we don't have much detail on this right now, meaning customers in hard-to-reach areas may have to wait much longer for coverage than their urban counterparts.


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