Broadband News

CityFibre acquires FibreNation from TalkTalk

The Fibre Nation full fibre network that covers some 49,000 premises in the City of York and work is underway building in Harrogate and Dewsbury is now part of the CityFibre domain.

Digital connectivity has the power to transform our country into a nation of smart, connected towns and cities, boosting and levelling up our economy.

Today’s announcement establishes CityFibre as the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform allowing millions more consumers and businesses to benefit from access to faster, more reliable services.

The UK is a service-based economy, and this runs best on full fibre. Ensuring national coverage is critical and this can only be achieved by driving infrastructure competition at scale. This deal demonstrates the appetite from industry to see it established.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre

For those who don't remember the original York roll-out was a joint venture between Sky, TalkTalk and CityFibre, so things have gone full circle now and the addition of the Fibre Nation ambitions means CityFibre is now looking towards eventually passing 8 million premises with FTTP using some £4 billion of investment.

The press release talks of CityFIbre as the third national digital infrastructure platform, but it does not say who number 1 and 2 are, we believe these to be Openreach and Virgin Media. The inclusion of national probably excludes KCOM who currently just operate in Hull, and while Hyperoptic has a bigger FTTP/FTTB footprint it does not have anything like the metro fibre network footprint of CityFibre.

What is interesting is that this move also means the agreement with Vodafone and its Gigafast exclusivity deal has been modified so that other providers will now get access to the CityFibre FTTH network earlier than previously planned.

For now the two distinct areas for Fibre Nation York and City Fibre/Vodafone Gigafast will remain on our maps, but in time and most likely when we see other providers reselling the services we will combine the two areas into a single CityFibre FTTH layer.

Since TalkTalk has been looking for investment in its Fibre Nation roll-out for sometime we don't see this move as a sign that 2020 is going to be the year all the small FTTP operators merge. What this does mean is that CityFibre gains a bigger foothold in Yorkshire and with the shift of skills should help them to continue speeding up their roll-out.


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