Vodafone extends CityFibre partnership to accelerate UK full-fibre | Infrastructure | News | Rapid TV News
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In a huge vote of confidence in the former altnet turned third largest fibre broadband network provider, UK operator Vodafone has chosen CityFibre to anchor nationwide rollout of full-fibre gigabit broadband to up to 8 million homes.
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When fully realised, the partnership will result in Vodafone becoming the UK’s largest retail provider of full-fibre to consumers bringing the service to eight million homes across the country. It also marks Vodafone’s continued support for the expansion of full-fibre networks across the UK and determination to encourage wholesale infrastructure competition at scale in the market.

With its increased commitment from Vodafone, CityFibre is making a substantial investment into a new National Access network, connecting its growing footprint of local full-fibre networks. The new network will aim to make it make it far easier, faster and more cost effective for Vodafone and other wholesale partners to bring services to market across its nationwide footprint. Using the new National Access network, Vodafone and other wholesale partners will ultimately be able to provide full-fibre services to any premises on CityFibre’s networks.

CityFibre is currently building across more than 60 towns and cities, and claims to be the current largest provider of full-fibre lines in more than 25 locations. Each new customer ordering a service from a partner will be offered an installation date within five working days of placing their order. By the end of 2022, CityFibre plans to have builds underway across more than 150 cities, towns and villages before expanding to 285 by 2025.

The expansion builds on a strategic partnership agreed in November 2017 in which Vodafone committed to market ultrafast consumer broadband services across a one million home CityFibre footprint in 12 cities. “We want to see a competitive market that brings the benefits of full fibre to more people,” commented Vodafone UK chief executive officer Ahmed Essam. “We’ve had a very successful partnership with CityFibre since 2017, and we look forward to continuing working together to connect more of the UK to full-fibre. Through our partnership with wholesale providers, we’re going to be bringing full-fibre to more homes than any other retail provider.”The new CityFibre rollout will deploy dense full-fibre infrastructure in 285 cities, towns and villages across the country by 2025. More than a million homes are already able to receive full-fibre broadband over its network.

Commenting on the deal, Paolo Pescatore, technology, media and telecoms analyst at PP Foresight said: “This latest move allows both companies to up the ante in the race for fibre supremacy. It provides CityFibre with long term certainty and reinforces Vodafone’s position as the partner of choice. Significantly it propels Vodafone to be in pole position as an aggregator of connectivity as well as services providing users with more choice. [However it also] raises questions about Virgin Media O2’s position as a wholesale provider of its own network.”