CityFibre’s full fibre network is designed to serve all businesses and public sector sites
Five million homes in the UK are set to benefit from full fibre broadband as the outcome of a £2.5bn investment programme announced by CityFibre, an alternative provider of digital network infrastructure.
The investment plan responds to the UK Government’s strategic direction for nationwide full fibre connectivity and the roll-out will correspond to one third of its 2025 target of 15 million homes.
CityFibre’s fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) builds are currently underway in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Aberdeen, with construction due to start in Edinburgh, Stirling, Coventry and Huddersfield before the end of this year and Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea shortly afterwards.
In total, 37 towns and cities have been identified where there is already “critical fibre spine assets” which means they are primed for expansion for fibre-to-the-home, with further locations to be named in due course.
As well as providing the infrastructure needed to underpin the UK’s digital future – stimulating growth in regional towns and cities – CityFibre claims it will bring £85bn in associated economic benefits and create 5,000 construction jobs.
“We now need to work together across government, Ofcom and industry to create a level-playing field that continues to encourage investment from multiple network operators"
“Our roll-out will soon bring to scale an innovative wholesale network, providing internet service providers and mobile network operators with greater choice and unrivalled technical capabilities, benefiting all sectors of the market,” said Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre.
“We now need to work together across government, Ofcom [UK communications regulator] and industry to create a level-playing field that continues to encourage investment from multiple network operators, so that full fibre can be delivered as quickly and effectively as possible.”
CityFibre said its whole-city build approach ensures that, once completed, nearly every home and business in its footprint will have access to transformational full fibre connectivity, putting each of these 37 towns and cities on a new footing as they join what it describes as the “gigabit city club”.
In addition, the company claims its large-scale open-access platform will provide choice for internet service providers (ISPs) and mobile network operators, while complementing other national digital infrastructure developments underway.
“The Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review set out our plans to maximise full fibre coverage. I’m delighted that CityFibre’s investment in 37 towns and cities across the UK will ensure the vast majority of homes and businesses in those areas can access this technology through new fibre networks, added Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, UK.
“Significant investment from new network operators is critical to deliver our ambition for nationwide coverage. Through our Industrial Strategy we’re working with businesses and Ofcom to ensure effective network competition that supports investment on this scale.”
CityFibre was acquired in June 2018 by Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners, a fund managed by Goldman Sachs.
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