CityFibre is stealing headlines once again, not trolling the industry this time, but investing £2.5 billion into it fibre network.
With various sized fibre footprints in 37 towns and cities throughout the UK, CityFibre has suggested the cash will be used to create a full-fibre environment. In some areas, such as Milton Keynes, the rollout is already underway, though in cities like Wakefield where the fibre spine is only 36km long, rollout will be accelerated.
“With a head-start in 37 towns and cities, this full fibre investment plan enables us to further accelerate our rollout, catalysing huge economic growth in regional towns and cities across the country and transforming the UK’s digital future,” said Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre.
“Our rollout will soon bring to scale an innovative wholesale network, providing internet service providers and mobile network operators with greater choice and unrivalled technical capabilities, benefitting all sectors of the market. 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, so that full fibre can be delivered as quickly and effectively as possible.”
With the new cash, and confidence from new owners Antin Infrastructure Partners and West Street Infrastructure Partners, CityFibre plans to deliver full fibre to five million homes, a fifth of the Government’s 2025 target of 15 million. The scale of its plan means it will be awarding city and town-wide construction contracts across the country for several years to come.
While CityFibre is certainly providing viable alternatives to the status quo through its partnership with Vodafone, this investment takes the challenge up a notch. Alt-nets are becoming increasingly popular throughout the world, and CityFibre is flying the flag in the UK.
“Significant investment from new network operators is critical to deliver our ambition for nationwide coverage,” said Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. “Through our Industrial Strategy we’re working with businesses and Ofcom to ensure effective network competition that supports investment on this scale.”
£2.5 billion is a nice big number, and it’s quite refreshing to be able to report about CityFibre on a story where it isn’t antagonising competitors or moaning about not being given an advantage by regulators.