CityFibre broadens Zen reach across network

Deal between fast-growing infrastructure provider and leading ISP increases the latter’s exclusive commitments from an initial four cities to 285 cities, towns and villages across the UK

As it accelerates its £4bn investment programme to reach up to eight million homes by 2025, representing approximately a third of the UK market, infrastructure provider CityFibre has appointed Zen Internet as its third major national consumer internet service provider to offer services across its national footprint.

Zen Internet claims to be the largest B Corporation certified telecommunications and network connectivity provider in the UK. It provides a full range of broadband, data, voice, hosting and infrastructure services to homes and businesses across the country. The company also delivers network and cloud services for large businesses and corporate customers through its strategic partnerships with AWS and Cisco. The company sees its network as providing a solid connection for hybrid working, entertainment and keeping connected.

The new deal builds on a partnership first announced in 2020, in which Zen committed to launching services across four initial CityFibre locations. It is also designed to underpin the UK broadband service provider’s customer acquisition targets for 2022 and beyond. It will provide exclusive long-term volume commitments across CityFibre’s gigabit network, extended to 285 cities, towns and villages by 2025. This total currently stands at 31 locations on the CityFibre full-fibre network at which Zen offers its services. The expanded agreement will enable Zen to use CityFibre’s complete roll-out, deploying dense full-fibre infrastructure which currently passes 1.5 million homes.

CityFibre has already signed wholesale agreements with well over 30 consumer ISPs. Zen joins Vodafone and TalkTalk as national consumer ISPs with long-term commitments across its footprint.

“We are delighted to have had the opportunity to demonstrate the technical and commercial superiority of our full-fibre networks to Zen, and we are thrilled they have selected CityFibre as a network of choice across our nationwide roll-out,” said CityFibre chief executive officer Greg Mesch. “Zen has proven to be an outstanding partner, and we look forward to accelerating the availability of their market-leading services to millions of homes across the UK. We are determined to build the UK’s finest full-fibre network, a rock-solid platform for our customers, with better products at the right economics. In doing so, we’re playing our part in helping to provide the UK with the critical digital infrastructure and competitive dynamic needed to drive improved services and prices for consumers across the country.”

“We’re delighted to be working with CityFibre on delivering full-fibre broadband to even more UK homes up and down the country,” added Zen chief executive officer Paul Stobart. “We’re seeing great consumer demand and interest in our early cities and are excited to ensure more homes can access an award-winning full-fibre service at what is a pivotal time for connectivity in the home. By 2030, everyone will have made the switch, and we are excited about the role Zen plays as an ultrafast pioneer to be a key enabler of early adoption.

“Our industry is rapidly changing, as is today’s consumer, who rightfully demands a reliable and speedy service,” he said. “The rates in volume of data and information being shared have increased beyond all recognition and people are fundamentally reliant on good connectivity.”

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Zen will continue to launch its offer in new cities in the coming weeks, and it is expected that its services will be available to all homes across the entire CityFibre footprint by late 2022.

The firm is confident that its symmetrical broadband packages will be among the fastest available to any home in the UK, providing its customers with up to 900 Mbps of bandwidth when both downloading and uploading.

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