CityFibre breaks million milestone in full-fibre roll-out

Pace of transformation of third-largest fibre network provider shown as former altnet racks up milestone figure for homes ready to tap into gigabit-capable infrastructure

The good news continues for independent full-fibre platform CityFibre, as it racks up its millionth home in its nationwide network roll-out, after receiving more than £1.25bn of new investment and extending its network build partnership with engineering and construction giant Bechtel.

CityFibre currently has 26 construction companies mobilised and in build across more than 60 towns and cities, and claims to be the current largest provider of full-fibre lines in more than 25 locations.

By the end of 2022, CityFibre plans to have builds underway across more than 150 cities, towns and villages before expanding to 285 by 2025. The networks are based on PON technology, meaning they can be upgraded to 10, 50, 100Gbps and beyond without any changes to the underlying network infrastructure. They serve all core market verticals including consumer, business, public sector and mobile operators.

Those residents served by the network can now place an order with one of 30 of its consumer Internet Service Provider (ISP) partners and receive Gigabit-capable, symmetrical services in five working days. It has also secured long-term commitments from Vodafone, TalkTalk and Zen, and says it has attracted a new generation of regional full-fibre ISPs to the market.

The company said that the million home milestone indicates that CityFibre is on track with its £4bn investment programme to reach up to 8 million homes by 2025, representing approximately a third of the UK market. “With a million homes now able to access our Full-fibre connectivity and more added every day, we are focused on supporting our consumer ISP partners to drive service take-up,” said CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch.

“We look forward to collaborating with our partners in the coming months to design compelling new packages and initiatives, and to continue raising awareness of the benefits of full-fibre.”

Going forward, CityFibre is also in discussions with the Government to explore opportunities to support Building Digital UK’s Project Gigabit programme to bring full-fibre to rural communities across the country.

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At the Connected Britain conference in September 2021, Mesch said the company’s expansion was based on the strategy of taking fibre broadband to underserved areas of the country that had been left behind by the incumbents, and that the firm would continue to expand across the UK.

The contract with Bechtel is designed to boost his growth. The engineering firm has more than seven decades of experience in the UK market, managing major construction contracts including the Channel Tunnel and High Speed 1, and has overseen metro fibre and fibre to the premises (FTTP) roll-outs for AT&T, Verizon, XO and Google Fibre in the US and the Viatel Circe Pan-European Network.

Bechtel has been contracted to work as part of its organisational structure and has already been fully integrated into CityFibre’s organisational structure since September 2020, enabling CityFibre to accelerate the mobilisation of its network construction partners and manage its full town and city builds.

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