Tuesday, December 15, 2015

News: CityFibre's reach extends to Rotherham


CityFibre, the fibre optic network infrastructure specialist providing an alternative to BT Openreach, is expanding its footprint having arranged a deal to acquire KCOM's national fibre and duct network assets.

CityFibre is the largest independent wholesale provider of fibre infrastructure to mid-sized cities and major towns across the UK, providing gigabit-capable infrastructure for enterprise and public sector organisations, service providers, mobile network operators and businesses.

The AIM-listed firm announced the £90m acquisition at the same time as securing financing of £180m to facilitate the acquisition and fully commercialise its national network.

City-wide pure fibre networks known as "COREs" are being installed in major cities and CityFibre is working in a joint venture with TalkTalk and Sky on Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks and services for homes and businesses.

The latest deal, set to complete mid-January 2016, will immediately increase the number of CityFibre's metro footprints to 36 cities and enable CityFibre to target a total of 50 cities by 2020, reaching 20% of the UK market. It will become the largest wholesale infrastructure provider after BT and the first challenger to the national incumbent, nearly ten years to the day since the formation of Openreach.

The firm said that it is extending networks into Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: "This is the most significant event to take place in the UK's digital infrastructure market in a decade. The UK now has a secure independent infrastructure alternative. Cities, service providers, mobile operators and investors have boldly embraced a new model of future-proof infrastructure provision and paved the way for its acceleration across the country.

"With our enlarged footprint and strong pipeline of cities demanding better infrastructure, we will continue to grow, offering existing and new partners an ever increasing opportunity to capitalise on a pure fibre future."

BT bagged a contract with the Sheffield City Region Local Enterrpise Partnership for the £28m Superfast South Yorkshire project as part of the government's BDUK initiative. Local and Government match funding should ensure that 97.9% of South Yorkshire will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.

CityFibre recently joined with the likes of Virgin Media and Zayo (who purchased South Yorkshire assets from the failed Digital Region project) to oppose Ofcom's proposals to allow providers to access BT's "dark fibre" lines.

CityFibre website
Superfast South Yorkshire website

Images: CityFibre


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