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The full fibre operator is the latest in a string of telecoms firms to announce job cuts against the backdrop of the UK’s struggling economy

Today, one of the UK’s leading fibre altnets, Hyperoptic, has revealed that it plans to lay off over 100 members of staff.

The majority of affected staff will be network engineers working in Scotland and North West England, regions in which Hyperoptic’s network build is largely complete.

Around 40 network build engineers could be redeployed to customer build and customer connections teams.

The operator will also remove a layer of management from its infrastructure division.

“In support of our continued growth at Hyperoptic, we have refocused around 40 employees on customer-facing engineering roles, and are proposing to make around 110 redundancies in the UK as we increase our focus on areas that offer us the greatest customer reach,” said CEO Dana Tobak. “Where necessary for the customer-centric roles, we will provide support and training to help keep our people in Hyperoptic – building on their skills, experience and expertise. For those employees that do move on from Hyperoptic, we will ensure the support they receive reflects the great work they have delivered for this company.”

Hyperoptic is not alone in the telecoms sector when it comes to announcing job cuts this year. Rival altnets Zzoomm and CitFibre have both revealed plans to lay off hundreds of workers, citing macroeconomic pressures. BT, meanwhile, says it plans to shrink its workforce by 40% – around 55,000 jobs – by the end of the decade, suggesting that many existing roles could be ultimately be performed AI.

In recent years, the UK’s fibre market has been flush with investment, creating a vibrant community of altnets battling with incumbent operator Openreach to deploy full fibre throughout the country. However, with Openreach’s rollout advancing faster than initially expected and the UK’s challenging economic environment over the last year, the bubble is beginning to burst and altnets are clearly beginning to feel the squeeze.

It appears consolidation will soon become unavoidable, but who, when, where, and how remains to be determined.

How is the UK’s altnet ecosystem evolving in 2023? Join the operators in discussion at this year’s Connected Britain event

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