Two of the leading challenger networks in the UK’s gigabit connectivity industry, Community Fibre and City Fibre, have announced respective key expansions to core networks in key territories and to internet service provider (ISP) choice.
In a move that Community Fibre said represents “strong progress” in its commitment to providing London households and businesses with the connectivity they need at an affordable price, the altnet has announced that it can now take full-fibre orders from 500,000 London homes and 116,000 businesses.
Claiming to be the UK capital’s fastest-growing full-fibre provider, Community Fibre said that what it called a milestone also demonstrated its commitment to offering 2.2 million homes and businesses its full-fibre, multi-gigabit capable broadband by the end of 2024. The company’s network offers up to 3Gbps to residential homes and 10Gbps for businesses.
In support of its expansion plans, Community Fibre has secured an additional £100m facility from a syndicate of existing and new banks. The facility was significantly oversubscribed, it said.
Going forward, Community Fibre said it will continue to scale quickly through further deployment in existing boroughs as well as reaching new London boroughs. The company has a network with presence in 29 London boroughs, with immediate plans to add Haringey and Havering to its catchment area. It has already connected and is providing free gigabit broadband to 300 community centres across London, with more planned.
“Bringing the best internet to our community has always been the focus of our business,” said Community Fibre CEO Graeme Oxby. “With over 500,000 homes now able to connect, we are well on our way to reaching our accelerated goal of reaching 2.2 million homes by the end of 2024.
“As an independent provider competing against larger incumbents, we know our goals are ambitious. However, we have been working hard to ensure that all of London has access to a high-quality, high-speed, affordable broadband network. We believe London should have the best possible infrastructure to support its future growth ambitions.”
Meanwhile, as it further ramps up the pace of its deployment across the UK, CityFibre has agreed a major expansion of its strategic partnership with ISP Giganet, making its full-fibre service offering available across CityFibre’s entire eight million home nationwide roll-out.
The new agreement builds on the partnership first announced in 2020, in which Giganet committed to launching its services across 27 of CityFibre’s network locations. Giganet is said to have since seen significant consumer interest and take-up, prompting it to extend its offering across CityFibre’s full nationwide footprint, which is targeted to reach 285 cities, towns and locations by 2025.
The network currently passes more than 1.5 million homes and Giganet will bring its broadband services to market in new locations throughout 2022. The two firms expect services to be available to all homes across the entire CityFibre footprint within the next 12 months.
“Following a fantastic customer uptake from our initial CityFibre locations, the UK has made no secret of how much they appreciate reliable connectivity and excellent customer service from an ISP,” said Giganet CEO Jarlath Finnegan. “We are offering a chance to not only upgrade to a better home broadband connection, but to a better level of service all round.
“To show how serious we are about building customer trust, our contracts have no exit fees and we have frozen prices until at least 2023, despite price hikes across much of the industry. This guarantees our home broadband customers will pay the same monthly charge for the lifetime of their contracts. That means no price rises for at least a year, and customers choose to stay because of our service, not our terms of contract.”
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