CityFibre Emerges as the UK’s National Infrastructure Alternative to BT Openreach
London, 14 December 2015 – CityFibre has today announced a £90 million acquisition of KCOM’s national fibre and duct network assets and has secured financing of £180 million to facilitate the acquisition and continue to commercialise its national network. These transactions will immediately increase the number of CityFibre’s metro footprints to 36 cities and enable CityFibre to target a total of 50 cities by 2020, reaching 20% of the UK market.
The new financing comprises £80 million of new equity and £100 million in debt facilities. Both the financing and acquisition transactions are scheduled to complete in mid-January, making CityFibre the UK’s largest wholesale infrastructure provider after BT and the first challenger to the national incumbent, nearly 10 years to the day since the formation of BT Openreach.
The acquisition of KCOM’s national communications infrastructure (excluding Hull and East Yorkshire) will extend CityFibre’s UK footprint by more than 300 per cent. The physical infrastructure assets comprise 1,100 km of duct and fibre network in 24 UK cities, as well as 1,100 km of national long distance network that connects these cities to major data-centres across the UK and to internet peering points in London.
On completion CityFibre’s expanded footprint, spanning 36 cities and interconnected by the national long distance network, will address more than 7,000 mobile cell sites, 24,500 public sector sites and 245,000 businesses. Furthermore, it positions CityFibre as an enabler for gigabit speed, ultrafast broadband to support FTTH deployments to 3.5m homes. In line with CityFibre’s shared infrastructure strategy, the physical network has abundant capacity to support the UK’s unrelenting demand for high-bandwidth, ultra-low latency services.
CityFibre will accelerate commercialisation of its wholesale fibre networks through its growing portfolio of service provider partners, including KCOM which will now have access to CityFibre’s full national footprint. The expanded network footprint will enable CityFibre to deliver end-to-end wholesale dark fibre connectivity to national and regional service providers, data centres and mobile operators in search of a genuine alternative to connectivity solutions offered by BT Wholesale and BT Openreach.
The acquisition builds upon CityFibre’s successes, including its rollout of Gigabit Cities, the UK’s first deployment of Fibre-to-the-Tower (FTTT) with EE and Three UK, the Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) deployment in York with Sky and TalkTalk and a master services agreement with Vodafone. Now, meaningful scale can be offered to partners that will transform the UK’s connectivity landscape.
Commenting on the announcement, CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “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. Cities, service providers, mobile operators and investors have boldly embraced a new model of future-proof infrastructure provision and paved the way for its acceleration across the country.
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.”
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CityFibre enables gigabit connectivity through designing, building, owning, and operating fibre optic network infrastructure. It is the largest independent wholesale provider of fibre infrastructure to mid-sized cities and major towns across the UK, providing gigabit-capable infrastructure for enterprise and public sector organisations, service providers, mobile network operators and businesses.
The Group owns and operates 618 route kms of local access networks serving 1,017 customer connections in 61 towns and cities in the UK, including Aberdeen, Bath, Bournemouth, Coventry, Derby, Doncaster, Dundee, Edinburgh, Huddersfield, Kingston-upon-Hull, Newcastle, Newport, Peterborough, Sheffield, and York.
To date the Company has launched six Gigabit City projects in York, Peterborough, Coventry, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow, where city-wide pure fibre networks known as ‘COREs’ bring world-class Internet connectivity and the benefits of gigabit speeds to every aspect of the city’s community. The Company has also delivered the UK’s first dark fibre-based Fibre-to-the-Tower network in Kingston-upon-Hull, under a national framework agreement with MBNL, Three UK and EE.
The CityFibre COREs are deployed using the Company’s Well Planned City (WPC) design philosophy, in which its city-wide core fibre infrastructure is designed with thousand-strand fibre cables in dual ducts optimally routed to serve the present and future demand of the public sector, mobile base stations, business park estates, and ultimately designed to serve as feeder and distribution network for Fibre-to-the- Home deployments.
CityFibre is also a founding member of a joint venture with TalkTalk and Sky. Established in early 2014, the collaboration aims to prove the viability of gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks and services for homes and businesses. Work is currently underway to connect tens of thousands of homes and businesses in York to a future-proof FTTP modern digital infrastructure.
CityFibre is based in London, United Kingdom, and its shares trade on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: CFHL). To find out more, please visit: www.cityfibre.com