CityFibre, the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure, has announced plans to undertake an industry-wide consultation on the role of alternative full fibre infrastructure builders in helping to switch-over customers from legacy copper networks. The consultation has been triggered by the progress of CityFibre’s Gigabit City rollout in Stirling, which will be the first city in the UK ready for a copper to fibre switch-over in summer 2020.

CityFibre will commence an industry-wide consultation in the coming weeks, providing Communication Providers of all sizes an opportunity to stipulate what provisions would be required to support all legacy services on the new networks, what the process should be for mass migration of customers, and what steps are needed to ensure easy and hassle-free switching for consumers. The consultation will be undertaken by Assembly Research, an independent London-based analyst firm specialising in communications markets.

The Government has announced ambitious targets to accelerate the rollout of full fibre digital infrastructure across the UK by 2025. CityFibre’s £2.5bn Gigabit City Programme will see full fibre reach over five million homes and businesses, covering over 60 towns and cities, contributing more than 20% of the target and creating the UK’s third digital network of scale.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre said: “Only by collaborating as an industry, with the full support of Government and Ofcom, will we be able to switch-over the UK from legacy copper networks to a future-proof full fibre platform. Our consultation will ensure that we play our part in this switch-over and that the eventual retirement of the copper networks is managed in a way that promotes sustained infrastructure investment from a range of organisations.

“With rollouts underway to reach over 20% of the UK market, our city-wide full fibre networks like that in Stirling will soon be of sufficient coverage to play their part, enabling a copper to fibre switch-over for the benefit of Communication Providers and their customers. Through our consultation, we look forward to engaging with the whole industry, including Openreach and BT Retail, to help develop a national plan to efficiently and smoothly upgrade Britain.”

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