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After a period of prolonged growth, CityFibre is on track to serve up to one-third of the UK by 2025, representing up to eight million premises in 285 cities, towns and villages, as well as 800,000 businesses, 400,000 local authority sites and 250,000 5G access points. To spur expansion further, the company has embarked upon a major overhaul of its brand, updating its visual identity, messaging and tone of voice.
CityFibre, which regards itself as the nation’s largest independent full-fibre platform, sees the rebrand as necessary to reflect its status as the nation’s digital infrastructure challenger and to engage millions of people more effectively as it rolls out its new networks across the country.
The gigabit provider says it is already directly engaging with more than 2.5 million homes and businesses each month through direct mails, letter drops, digital advertising and email marketing to drive awareness of the benefits of switching network and the availability of its partners’ service offerings.
The brand update is also intended to build on CityFibre’s gathering momentum, which has seen the company fully finance its roll-out, securing over £5bn in debt and equity raises in the past year. Its roll-out has now exceeded 1.9 million passed homes, and more than 30 internet service providers (ISPs), including Vodafone, TalkTalk, IDNet, Giganet and Zen Internet, have made CityFibre their network of choice.
The company claims that its partnership model and close cooperation with ISPs to drive awareness throughout the build process has also proved highly effective, with its most mature locations, such as Milton Keynes, now exceeding 20% take-up.
However, it noted that research it had conducted had shown that consumer confusion was endemic in the broadband market, with 64% of consumers unaware of the difference between full-fibre and part-fibre broadband. The updated brand’s assets have been designed to help cut through this confusion, explaining the superior user-experience when connected to a new, fibre-only infrastructure platform, unencumbered by legacy network or systems.
The new messaging and brand has also been optimised to support and augment CityFibre’s partners’ marketing communications, helping them to drive customer acquisitions and migrate existing customers at volume.
“Thanks to years of forced reliance on outdated copper and cable networks, people across the country are underwhelmed, confused and mistrustful of the broadband industry,” said CityFibre chief marketing officer Dan Ramsay. “Given its importance to every aspect of our lives, we don’t believe that is acceptable. That is why we are excited to unveil our new brand identity. It’s bold and straight-talking, designed to cut through, engage and inform people that the best way to improve their experience is to change their network.”
The new branding comes weeks after the company announced that it was pushing the connectivity envelope further, with a plan to begin deploying XGS passive optical network (PON) access technology as standard from April 2023, enabling residential and business services at symmetrical speeds of up to 10Gbps.
The roll-out of XGS-PON will allow CityFibre to support more customers on each optical line termination (OLT) port, enabling, said the firm, “substantial” network cost savings, reducing power use across its networks and improving the efficiency of its future network expansion.