The funds will help the full fibre operator to reach its goal of delivering fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) to 8 million UK premises by 2025
CityFibre celebrated the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in their own special way at the end of last week, announcing that they had raised an additional £4.9 billion to fund their FTTP rollout across the nation.
The move is one of the largest single financings for full fibre deployment in Europe, with CityFibre suggesting that the funds will fully enable their deployment target of 8 million homes by 2025, as well as their increasing their contribution towards the UK government’s ‘Project Gigabit’ fibre targets.
Once completed, CityFibre say their network will cover roughly 800,000 businesses, 400,000 public sector sites, and 250,000 5G access points in over 285 locations in the UK.
The banking facilities for this new funding were underwritten by NatWest, Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, BBVA, Intesa Sanpaolo, ING and SEB, with ABN Amro, Lloyds Bank and asset manager M&G joining as core lenders.
“Over the last decade we’ve built a business that has transformed the UK’s digital connectivity landscape for the better. With our rollout now fully financed, backed by so many esteemed financial institutions, we have emerged as a strong national challenger,” said CItyFibre CEO Greg Mesch. “But CityFibre’s aim is not simply to challenge. It’s to be better. It’s to establish ourselves as the preferred network wherever we build, bringing higher-quality, more affordable infrastructure within reach of millions and unleashing the transformative economic potential of Full Fibre to help level up the UK. We have never been more confident that we will succeed.”
In the past year, CityFibre has already secured £1.13 billion in funding via equity sales to existing investors Antin Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs and new partners in the form of Mubadala Interogo Holding and Interogo Holding.
Since then, they have been putting this money to good use, with their full fibre network now reportedly reaching 1.7 million homes. Numerous ISPs have also signed up to offer their services over the company’s network, with Zen Internet and Giganet recently joining the likes of Vodafone and TalkTalk in recent months.
But while Cityfibre’s FTTP rollout continues at an impressive pace they are still far behind market leader Openreach, which announced that it had passed 7.2 million premises last month.
The UK incumbent has been rolling out FTTP at an impressive pace in the past year, with favourable regulatory changes from Ofcom last year allowing the company to build fibre ‘like fury’. BT has committed to investing £15 billion into FTTP deployment, aiming to reach 25 million premises by 2025.
VMO2, meanwhile, recently completed upgrading their entire network to DOCSIS 3.1 technology, thereby making gigabit-capable broadband accessible across its entire network footprint.
How will this funding change the dynamic between the UK’s largest fibre players? Find out from the experts at this year’s Connected Britain conference.
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