CIYFIBRE HAS ANNOUNCED that it will begin constructing a 1Gbps fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network in between five and 10 UK cities next year.
In the past, CityFibre has expanded its Openreach-rivalling fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network by connecting businesses and public sector sites in cities across the UK (42 at last count, and expected to reach 50 by 2020). However, the residential sector has not been a major focus, aside from some 20,000 homes in Bournemouth and 40,000 in York.
The network expansion, which comes alongside the £29m acquisition of Entanet, will be funded by a new placing, whereby CityFibre aims to raise a minimum of £185m; this will be combined with an Offer for Subscription, which could raise up to £15 million.
Plans have also been shared to raise further proceeds through an 'accelerated bookbuilding process which will be launched immediately following this announcement.' We expect a prospectus, containing full details, to be published around the 11 July. A related general meeting is then planned for the 27 July.
CityFibre will make an application to the London Stock Exchange for the New Ordinary Shares to be admitted to AIM; it is expected that this Admission will become effective, and dealing in the NOS will begin on the 28 July.
Greg Mesch, CEO of the company, said that the expansion is "driven by growing demand from internet service providers and their customers to switch to full-fibre infrastructure.
"Our announcement to enter the residential market is the first step in our vision to bring gigabit connectivity to millions of UK homes and small businesses," he added.
The news comes on the heels of the Government's announcement of a £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which helped to inspire the new plan. CityFibre says that 'advanced negotiations' are ongoing with ISPs that will market FTTH services to consumers.
That all sounds great, but it should be noted that the actual cities that will benefit from the rollout have not been named, and so we don't know how many premises will actually be covered by the proposed (important word) expansion - or how long it will take. µ
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