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CityFibre inks Gigaclear partnership for UK rural fibre roll out

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UK fibre specialist CityFibre has announced a strategic partnership to supply fibre broadband connectivity to rural areas in the country.

Fibre as a broadband connectivity platform has become one of the premium models for residential or consumer customers seeking the fastest internet connection; although fibre deployments to date have largely been focussed on newly built developments in urbanised areas. CityFibre has partnered with Gigaclear, a rural fibre specialist, targeting the connectivity of hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

We are delighted to formalise a partnership with Gigaclear which shares such a complementary agenda,” said CityFibre CEO Greg Mensch. “We have long been aware of the huge levels of demand for better internet connectivity in rural areas surrounding our urban network projects. It is a national embarrassment that residents and business in rural areas, and indeed, many of those in towns and cities, have been left in the digital dark ages. Pure fibre infrastructure is the 21st century utility and is an essential component to everyday life.”

Mensch’s comments look like a thinly-veiled dig at BT, with CityFibre being a vocal and regular opponent to its ownership of Openreach. After BT said it will be investing somewhat in FTTP operations, but primarily in G.fast copper-optimising technology, CityFibre again felt compelled to vocalise its objections.

Gigaclear’s CEP, Matthew Hare, meanwhile, highlighted how the partnership could help connect underserved areas in the UK. “Bringing brilliant broadband to rural Britain has its challenges,” he said. “This partnership with CityFibre gives Gigaclear access to more capacity, faster delivery and more flexible bandwidth across the country. It helps us build Gigabit networks where other operators do not reach, to meet the demand for better broadband from homes and businesses.”

The strategic partnership follows recent investment wins for both parties, both of whom have raised what the each refer to as “substantial new investment from an extensive and highly regarded portfolio of investors”, which CityFibre claims demonstrates an industry-wide desire for more alternative network infrastructures to be developed.


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