CityFibre is to acquire Kcom's network infrastructure for £90m. The deal does not include Kcom's historic network in Hull and East Yorkshire.
The move will help CityFibre increase its physical network to cover 1,100km, a 300 percent increase on its current footprint, and extend its presence into 36 UK cities, up from 15, with a goal of hitting 50 cities by 2020.
The deal also includes Kcom's long-distance back-end network that runs between the cities into key data centres and via London.
The map below shows the increase in the firm's network with new cities added including Nottingham, Bristol, Plymouth, Exeter and Swindon. The full list is included at the bottom of the article.
In total 7,000 mobile cell sites, 24,500 public sector sites and 245,000 businesses will be passed by CityFibre's network, while 3.5 million homes could be covered by fibre-to-the-home deployments.
The deal could help CityFibre rival BT Openreach in the network reseller market by enabling other firms to use its fibre network wholesale services, as strategy director Mark Collins explained to V3.
"We've been building out for some time but the question was how to scale this and do it at speed, so we saw there was a clear opportunity with Kcom's infrastructure as they had a presence in the cities on our target list," he said.
"This means we can focus on a target of reaching 50 cities by 2020, covering all the main metro areas outside London to offer services to service providers and become a true challenger to BT Openreach."
The acquisition was financed by a £180m loan that will also be used to help pay for the necessary work to make the network viable for other providers to use. The aim is to add another 10 cities to CityFibre's full gigabit network in 2016.
"Our philosophy has always been about gigabit cities, where we consider gigabit speeds as a standard for all market verticals, so with the deal we can now provide this on a far larger scale to service providers," said Collins.
CityFibre already has six wide-scale fibre deployments in place including in Peterborough and York, where it has worked with Sky and TalkTalk, underlining the threat posed to BT Openreach in the wholesale market.
The full list of cities now included on CityFibre's network is Bracknell, Bradford, Bristol, Derby, Doncaster, Exeter, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Leeds, Leicester, Maidenhead, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Nottingham, Plymouth, Reading, Rotherham, Sheffield, Slough, Swindon, Wakefield and York.
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