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CityFibre Buys KCOM’s Nationwide Fibre Network For £90m

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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CityFibre expands nationwide footprint after buying KCOM’s networks outside Hull and East Yorkshire in a move which former says makes it the biggest wholesale competitor to Openreach

CityFibre is to acquire KCOM’s fibre network infrastructure outside Hull and East Yorkshire for £90m, claiming the deal will make the former a genuine wholesale competitor to BT Openreach.

The transaction is set to be completed in January and will see CityFibre’s footprint increase by 300 percent, comprising 1,100km of network in 24 UK cities and another 1,100 connecting cities to major data centres and Internet peering points in London.

The combined network will see CityFibre cover 36 cities and there are plans to increase this to 50 by the end of the decade. Once the deal is concluded, CityFibre’s infrastructure will cover 7,000 mobile sites, 24,500 public sector locations and 245,000 businesses.

CityFibre KCOM purchase

packetfrontCityFibre operates six ‘gigabit’ networks in Peterborough, Coventry, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York – the latter of which forms the basis of a joint-venture with Sky and TalkTallk.

CEO Greg Mesch says CityFibre will become the second largest wholesale provider after Openreach, capable of providing “meaningful scale” to service providers, data centres and mobile operators. KCOM will now have access to CityFibre’s network infrastructure across the UK as part of the deal.

“This is the most significant event to take place in the UK’s digital infrastructure market in a decade,” he said. “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.”

Both Three and Vodafone have agreed backhaul deals with CityFibre in recent times but the firm is an opponent of the BT-EE merger, claiming it would harm competition, and also opposes plans by Ofcom to allow third party communications providers to access BT’s dark fibre on the basis it would discourage investment.

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