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CityFibre seeking

14 November 2011
 
CityFibre Holdings has appointed investment bank Macquarie Capital to help it raise the money for a monster fibre rollout in the UK.  The firm wants to raise £500 million (€585 million) to build metro and access fibre networks connecting up to 50,000 businesses and 1 million homes.
 
Investment can be a major stumbling block for companies wanting to roll out fibre in the access network – projects require significant investment over long time-scales. But as advisor to Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) – the largest FTTP deployment in history -- Macquarie Capital appears to have the right credentials to make this happen.
Greg Mesch, CityFibre’s CEO commented, “I am delighted to be working with such an experienced financial institution. Macquarie’s deep knowledge of financing infrastructure projects is coupled with a strong and experienced telecoms banking team that will be a great asset to ensure we achieve our goal of accelerating fibre-optic network deployment throughout the UK.”
 
CityFibre was formed earlier this year when it purchased the assets of i3 Group’s UK operations, which included FibreCity Holdings, H2O Networks, and OpenCity Media. H2O Networks had run into financial difficulties following the collapse of Total Asset Finance, the major funding provider for its FTTP rollout in the south coast town of Bournemouth.  
 
As well as the FTTP network in Bournemouth, CityFibre inherited “over 130 contracts with public sector bodies including local authorities, universities and businesses” and runs seven metro fibre rings across the UK (in Ayr, Bath, Bournemouth, Derby, Newcastle, Sheffield,  and York). 
 
Right now, CityFibre is busy getting the Bournemouth deployment back on track.  To date, the network passes 24,000 homes in Bournemouth, the company says: 10,000 of these homes have two fibres directly connected to the property and the remaining 14,000 require minor installation work that would be carried out when the resident signs up with a third-party service provider (CityFiber won’t supply retail services directly).  These homes will be ready for service early next year; the plan is to pass all the remaining homes in Bournemouth by mid-2013.
 
By Pauline Rigby