LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CityFibre (AIM:CFHL) (‘CityFibre’ or the 'Group' or the 'Company'), a leading designer, builder, owner, and operator of fibre optic infrastructure in UK towns and cities, welcomes the recommendations published today by Ofcom following its Strategic Review of Digital Communications.
The report’s conclusions are clear – that to meet the UK’s current and future digital communication needs, and enable widespread availability of competing fibre-to-the-premises networks, a strategic shift to support large-scale investment in end-to-end fibre is required. To accelerate this, Ofcom recommends the promotion of investment and competition, and provisions such as the assurance of meaningful access to Openreach’s physical infrastructure. The conclusions in today’s report will considerably strengthen CityFibre’s capability to drive forward an alternative fibre future for Britain.
It is clear from Ofcom’s key strategic proposals that Openreach cannot, and will not, be allowed to remain solely responsible for delivering the fit-for-purpose infrastructure essential to fulfil the UK’s digital potential. Healthy competition and continued investment in fibre from multiple companies is vital.
Ofcom’s strategy to encourage fibre investment, improve competition, and to ensure meaningful and usable access to Openreach’s physical infrastructure, creates a unique opportunity for alternative providers, such as CityFibre, to accelerate and extend new and existing roll-outs of next generation, ultrafast fibre-to-the-premises infrastructure projects nationwide.
Alternative infrastructure providers, such as CityFibre, play an increasingly crucial part in the landscape and we are encouraged to see the report explicitly reference its support for the large-scale deployment of ultrafast networks. Innovative infrastructure builders are already responding to demand from businesses and consumers for ever-increasing demands for pure fibre infrastructure and companies like ours are central to a shared goal of enabling the UK to compete and succeed in a digital age.
Ofcom also recognises that at a technological level, BT’s continued strategic reliance on, and investment in, copper-based infrastructure - often masquerading as fibre – is inadequate to meet the soaring demand driven by new services and increased usage habits that the market continues to observe.
With major metro fibre networks in 36 UK towns and cities as well as our York project rolling out fibre- to-the-home with Sky and TalkTalk, CityFibre is the only wholesale competitor to Openreach. We will continue to respond to market demand and play a vital role in addressing the fibre connectivity needs for mobile operators, ISPs, the public sector and consumers.
The recommendations put forward in Ofcom’s strategic review today only serve to strengthen our position and ability to respond to demand for our services across the UK in the near term.
Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre, commented:
“We welcome today’s recommendations from Ofcom, in particular the acknowledgement of the essential role that CityFibre and other independent investment initiatives must play if the UK is to fully realise the ‘new fibre future’ which Ofcom now envisages.
”Accordingly, we welcome Ofcom’s decision to broaden and simplify third party access to Openreach’s duct and pole assets, in order to speed up deployment and lower costs. This should greatly accelerate the pace of true fibre deployment across the UK, with cost benefits for alternative investors, potentially also including CityFibre if we determine it is advantageous to make use of these inputs.
“As the UK’s standard-bearer for independent alternative fibre investment since our founding, our 36 city network footprint is highly attractive and competitive in such a new market environment, with ample duct and fibre capacity available well into the future, and we are very strongly positioned to compete as the new market takes shape.
“We have already proven in our York FTTH deployment with our partners Sky and TalkTalk that new future-proof infrastructure can be deployed by building upon the enabling infrastructure already in place, and today’s conclusions from Ofcom are a clear validation of our vision and market offering.”