£1bn support from Government to benefit alternative builders of fibre infrastructure
CityFibre (AIM: CITY), a leading designer, builder, owner, and operator of fibre optic infrastructure in UK towns and cities, welcomes the Treasury’s intention to unveil £1bn of support to accelerate the rollout of full fibre and 5G infrastructure at the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement.
The aim of the funding, which will include £400m investment into a Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, is to boost commercial finance for emerging fibre broadband providers looking to scale up. This is entirely aligned with CityFibre’s view that infrastructure competition is the only way for the UK to close its yawning fibre gap with other developed nations.
As the largest competitive investor in wholesale fibre infrastructure, CityFibre is already present in 40 towns and cities across the UK, including 25 of the top 30 cities outside London. With an ambition of expanding to 100 cities by 2025, this expanded footprint would allow CityFibre to deliver true fibre connectivity to 60% of the UK’s businesses and 40% of homes outside London.
The Company’s Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) trial with Sky and TalkTalk in York has demonstrated the critical role that its infrastructure plays in delivering FTTH faster and at lower cost. Additionally, the Company’s network in Hull enabled the UK’s first dark Fibre-to-the-Tower deployment, which underlines the role CityFibre can play in the 5G wireless rollout. Both FTTH and 5G connectivity can be extended across CityFibre’s 40 cities, demonstrating the pivotal role the Company will play in any national fibre deployment programme.
Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre, commented:
“As a full fibre infrastructure pioneer and the company behind the UK’s growing ranks of Gigabit Cities, CityFibre welcomes the Chancellor’s support to accelerate the deployment of fibre and 5G to homes and businesses. Britain’s industrial strategy needs a digital backbone, and it is essential that we move quickly to plug the UK’s ‘fibre gap’ and empower our service-based economy. This new funding, stimulating competitive fibre rollout at scale by new communications infrastructure builders, is a catalyst for the delivery of the UK’s fibre future.”