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CityFibre goes national with KCOM fibre acquisition

Urban fibre supplier CityFibre acquires KCOM’s national fibre and duct network for £90m, with a round of financing

CityFibre has acquired KCOM’s national fibre and duct network assets for £90m, taking its national footprint to 36 cities and bringing a further 14 within range by 2020.

The urban fibre supplier claimed the acquisition made it the largest wholesale national infrastructure operator behind Openreach.

CityFibre will gain access to 1,100km of duct and fibre network in 24 cities, and 1,100km of national long-distance network assets, connecting into a number of major datacentres and to internet peering points in London.

The new addressable towns and cities are Bracknell, Bradford, Bristol, Derby, Doncaster, Exeter, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Maidenhead, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Swindon, Wakefield and York. It hopes to begin work on launching 10 of these as Gigabit Cities next year.

On completion, set for mid-January 2016, CityFibre said it would be able to address 7,000 mobile cell sites, 24,500 public sector sites and 245,000 businesses, offering end-to-end wholesale dark fibre connectivity to national and regional service providers in search of an alternative to BT. CityFibre said it could now offer “meaningful scale” to service provider partners.

While the firm has not yet opened up its network to domestic customers – with the exception of York, where it is helping Sky and TalkTalk trial their ultrafast UFO service – it could reach 3.5 million homes with fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband.

“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,” said CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch.

“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.”

CityFibre also announced a financing round comprising £80m of equity and £100m in debt facilities.

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CityFibre takes on a massive £180 million pounds debt when it’s already struggling, to rival BT. It’ll probably go bust even before it starts.
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