CityFibre Expands Gigabit City Project

CityFibre is pleased to announce an extension of its existing Gigabit City project in Edinburgh to an additional 294 council-owned sites in an agreement worth at least £5.6 million.

The seven-year deal, with options to extend to a maximum of 19 years and a lifetime contract value of £16m, will be carried out in conjunction with national telecommunications provider Commsworld. It will replace the expensive, capacity-constrained copper circuits provided as part of a long-term contract by BT. The deal represents CityFibre’s largest contract win to date and is one of the largest metro UK public services network awards in recent years.

On the basis of the initial seven-year term, this deal now takes total contract value (TCV) added in the current financial year to £15m, though on the full 19-year term of the deal this figure would exceed £25m. CityFibre added £11.1m in new contract value in financial year 2014. The TCV-to-capex ratio for the new contract is anticipated to be within previously stated guidelines.

The contract is part of a wider £186 million outsourced ICT procurement for the council won by global ICT firm CGI, which will create the single largest pure fibre city roll-out in the UK. The 100km network extension will future-proof one of the UK’s largest unitary local authorities and will expand the 50km ‘Edinburgh CORE’ anchor network project delivered in partnership with Commsworld.

On completion in 12 months’ time, the total number of connected buildings on the network will exceed 500. Existing construction teams already deployed on the Edinburgh CORE will ensure the roll out is dramatically accelerated and available to even more public sector, businesses and mobile cell sites. It is also designed to function as a backbone for any future deployment of fibre to the home connectivity.

Key sites to benefit from CityFibre’s investment will include council offices, community centres and libraries. 137 primary and secondary schools will also benefit from increased bandwidth, up to 50-100 times faster. Edinburgh’s 17,000 businesses also stand to benefit as the network grows to areas like The Gyle, which was not included in the first phase city-centre roll-out.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive of CityFibre, commented “This is CityFibre’s largest contract to date and in such a prestigious city as Edinburgh, it is a landmark in our growth as a firm. In a matter of months, CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld has begun a truly transformational infrastructure project in the city, and as the world’s bandwidth consumption is set to triple in the next four years, Edinburgh is in an advantageous position to capitalise on the continued shift towards a digital economy.

“This contract solidifies the power of our Gigabit City model and the appetite from city leaders to embrace a new generation of infrastructure. We are now a true infrastructure alternative to BT Openreach.”

Ricky Nicol, Chief Executive of Commsworld, commented “The reach and benefits of this network will have a hugely positive impact on Edinburgh as a whole but this would not be possible without CityFibre’s investment in the fibre infrastructure that will allow Edinburgh to become one of the best connected cities in the world. Since we launched the Edinburgh CORE network together in May we have seen huge demand from businesses across all sectors and it is now set to be the biggest gigabit city project in the UK.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine