CityFibre Holdings has published the news that it has appointed the corporate finance firm Macquarie Capital to help it raise some £500m million of capital to expand its operations in the UK. The aim of the investment being to connect one million homes and 50,000 businesses with fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology.
CityFibre Holdings is not new to fibre deployments, being involved in metro fibre networks, and expanding to connect homes and small businesses is a bold move, and one that must be welcomed as it may provide full fibre connectivity to areas that are many years away from seeing fast reliable services.
"I am delighted to be working with such an experienced financial institution. Macquarie's deep knowledge of financing infrastructure projects is coupled with a strong and experienced telecoms banking team that will be a great asset to ensure we achieve our goal of accelerating fibre optic network deployment throughout the UK.
CityFibre looks forward to engaging with local authorities and business across the country to deliver new fibre networks that can power the next generation of public services and cloud based business networks."Greg Mesch, CityFibre’s CEO
We assume that CityFibre will be hoping to bid for some BDUK funding from the various County Councils around the UK, and by having its own investment pot, it can match fund the BDUK money and thus make its network more attractive to councils. Both BT and Fujitsu are known to be willing to match funding, and as a way of stretching the limited BDUK funds it will be crucial to ensuring a good solution gets deployed to as many properties as possible.
Today also saw Ofcom announce a proposal to allow CityFibre MetroNetworks Ltd code powers to carry out street works, in relation to laying telecommunications infrastructure. The consultation period for any objections ends on 5th December 2011.
CityFibre Holdings are also the company now in charge of resolving the mashup that was the mixture of sewer and microtrenched fibre provision in Bournemouth which may still see 20,000 homes having the option of fibre.
While one million homes may not seem many in the context of around 25m households in the UK, if the homes are those not already getting a DOCSIS 3.0 cable service from Virgin Media, or in the Openreach FTTC/FTTP footprints, this roll-out could significantly improve the options for superfast broadband to some people in the UK.