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i3 Group appoint ex-BT group CEO to head up Opencity Media
Friday 27 August 2010 11:40:41 by John Hunt

The i3 Group, the company behind Fibrecity and H2O Network, have appointed Mark Smith, previously CEO of BT Broadcast Services, as CEO of Opencity Media Ltd. Opencity were founded to help service and content providers deliver their products over the Fibrecity network. Companies can market their products on the Fibrecity Open Access Gateway which acts as a sort of shop front to allow consumers to pick and choose the services they need.

"I have followed the progress of i3 Group for a while now, and am utterly impressed by the way it has turned the service provider model on its head. For too long, the market has been dominated by a few players which have restricted consumer choice.

My main objective will be to build on the platform that has been created, and working with the Opencity Media team, introduce more service and content providers on to the Fibrecity Open Access Gateway."

Mark Smith, (CEO) Opencity Media

Earlier in the week i3 Group signed an agreement with Scottish Water to rent a portion of the sewer network across the whole of Scotland. This is good news for Fibrecity Dundee which is set to gain access to the fibre network in 2012. This also adds the option for other Scottish cities to gain a network with Aberdeen and Inverness options that Fibrecity are considering. Fibrecity plan to serve one million UK homes within 4 years.


Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
an ISP people have heard of would be a good start ;-)
Posted by Maisie01 over 7 years ago
I know there's comfort in buying from known brands, but surely 100Mbs broadband over fibre is 100Mbps broadband over fibre. I sure wish I could sign up to it! Come to Derbyshire Fibrecity ;o)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Ohhhh lets see if the BT fanboys now still flame the company LMAO
Posted by njalondon over 7 years ago
The difference in Dundee as opposed to Bournemouth is Wessex Water is privately owned and Scottish Water is a statutory corporation. I hope they can prove their business model a success, anything that increases choice and reduces cost can only be good. Tarka/CB please take it elsewhere, this should be a serious debate.
Posted by Somerset over 7 years ago
I have asked for the majority of these comments to be deleted.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
Good idea, looks like the drugs have worn off again.

On the brands issue I would agree that the proposition of 100M symmetrical fibre should be compelling however we know it doesn't work like that.

Take Be for example, their service was market leading for a long time but you could still have put all their users in a football stadium - because nobody has/had heard of them.

O2 aren't doing a whole lot better despite throwing money around like a Labour government they have a pitiful penetration of their own mobile userbase.
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Tbh I'm glad they aren't a "well known brand".

Most "well known brands" suck when it comes to ISP's.

The public opinion being uninformed as usual should be taken as a grain of salt.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Have to agree with you there otester. Dunno why Herdwick said that, some of the ISPs with the smallest amount of user numbers are the best. They dont even have to be LLU providers so dunno why he mentioned them either. IDnet is a good example of a ISPs many have probably never heard of, infact i bet alot less have heard the name IDnet than they have O2. <<< Both superb broadband suppliers though.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
The economic success of next generation access or anything else depends on the mass market, if you can't attract the mass market you will fail commercially.

We need millions of BT and Talk Talk users to pay for the infrastructure and we need open access to allow a few better providers to ride along with them.
Posted by herdwick over 7 years ago
put it another way, if all of the ISPs currently using ADSL in Bournemouth were available on the Fibrecity platform, perhaps with a higher monthly fee, do you think more people would be using it ? The ISPs would at least have a motivation to promote the service to their userbase.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 7 years ago
Surely thats upto the company concerned to decide who sells their product?
Posted by whatever2 over 7 years ago
depends on the price point herdwick... if it's aimed at the mass market, it needs to hit it. If it wasn't, then it still could work on much lower numbers... just at a higher price.

I'd like to see how many isps would cope with the backhaul on 100mbps lines
Posted by otester over 7 years ago
Lack of competition brings higher prices.
Posted by TheGuv over 7 years ago
Sounds like a great concept but depends on the cost to access. ISPs could market the product but then has to consider whether it's cost effective to use 2 Wholesalers. It may be better to have streamlined operations for some ISPs and not have 2 groups dealing with Openreach access and Fibrecity access. Also there may be differences in what online services can be accessed. An example of this is BT's WCC platform which looks like it will be the backbone of VOD transmission Project Canvas. If Fibrecity connected customers can't access it then ISPs may be put off.
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