Fibre network provider CityFibre has acquired a duct and fibre network firm called Redcentric for £5m.
The move means that CityFibre will gain access to core network assets totalling 137km in Cambridge, Portsmouth and Southampton, extending its footprint to 40 cities nationwide.
The deal will also extend CityFibre's coverage in other cities where it already had some presence, including Nottingham, Derby and Northampton.
As part of the deal Redcentric will lease back access to the dark fibre in the network for £4.5m, effectively becoming a major customer of CityFibre's.
CityFibre has been keen to tout itself as a major rival to BT Openreach in the wholesale broadband market, claiming that the company's fibre-first approach is far better suited to the long-term digital infrastructure future of the UK.
Chief executive Greg Mesch used the acquisition to reiterate this message. “Once again we’ve shown that underused legacy fibre assets can find a new home to flourish in CityFibre’s wholesale shared infrastructure model,” he said.
“We’re very pleased to have secured a deal structure which benefits our new partner and us, and we look forward to working with Redcentric across our broader national footprint.”
The deal is the just latest in a string of moves by CityFibre to grow its network. The company will add Milton Keynes and Reading to its network, and announced that a partnership with Gigaclear will cover more rural locations with fibre.
This could boost copper connections to speeds as high as 330Mbps as part of BT's goal to provide speeds of at least 100Mbps to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020.
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