UK alternative wholesale fiber network operator CityFibre has puts its growth-through-acquisition strategy into action once again with the purchase of network ducts and fibers in three major markets in the UK.
CityFibre has splashed £5 million (US$6.4 million) on assets in the cities of Cambridge, Portsmouth and Southampton that belonged to IT managed service provider Redcentric. The move means CityFibre now has network assets in 40 UK towns and cities. (See CityFibre Buys Duct, Fiber Networks.)
The network operator, which builds and runs metro and access fiber networks and sells capacity to retail communications service providers such as ISPs, has been building out its own networks for several years but has expanded significantly during the past year through acquisitions, most notably the £90 million (US$136 million) acquisition of infrastructure assets from KCOM Group. (See CityFibre Takes On BT With $136M KCOM Acquisition and UFO Brings Hope to FTTH Altnets.)
Its expansion and more aggressive growth strategy appears to have had an impact on the Openreach division at BT, which is the leading supplier of wholesale broadband access services and infrastructure in the UK. BT appointed long-time BT senior executive (and former CIO/CTO) Clive Selley as the CEO of Openreach earlier this year and it's very clear that he has introduced a new strategy that is focused on greater fiber rollout and improved customer experience, as well as investing significant sums in turbo-charging BT's copper access network with G.fast technology. (See BT & G.fast: A Mission Accomplished?, BT's Broadband Chief Preps for 5G With FTTx Plans, BT Targets 1M SMEs With FTTP, CityFibre Aims High in BT Battle and BT Names Clive Selley as New Openreach CEO.)
The big question, of course, is how much revenue-generating business CityFibre can attract onto its network and, ultimately, what its long-term future will be – a highly successful alternative fiber network operator in the UK could be a very attractive acquisition target for mobile operators needing fiber network assets or even for an aggressive Webscale company such as Google.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading