Gigaclear and CityFibre partner to close rural broadband gap


ISP and backhaul supplier form strategic partnership to boost broadband speeds in rural areas

CityFibre and Gigaclear have struck a partnership aimed at speeding its rollout of fibre to “hundreds of thousands” of homes and businesses in rural areas.

The deal will see CityFibre use its metro fibre network, which covers 37 towns and cities across the UK, to assist Gigaclear’s rural pure fibre network deployment by providing long-distance backhaul options. It will also use its Metro facilities in urban areas to support connectivity in nearby rural areas.

Gigaclear provides speeds of up to 1GBps across rural areas, including Oxfordshire, the Cotswolds, and Gloucestershire.

“We are delighted to formalise a partnership with Gigaclear, which shares such a complementary agenda. We have long been aware of the huge levels of demand for better internet connectivity in rural areas surrounding our urban network projects,” said chief executive Greg Mesch (pictured).

Successful partnerships
It is the latest in a number of deals secured by CityFibre, which also announced a separate, £2 million contract win in Peterborough secured through its outsourcing partner Serco.

CityFibre will expand its existing 90km network in the Cambridgeshire city by a further 24km, as an extension of a deal originally signed in November 2013. The extension pushes the value of the deal to more than £8.5 million.

“We’re very pleased to expand our successful partnership with Serco in providing future-proof, pure fibre connectivity to another critical part of the public sector estate in Peterborough. This deal validates the incremental demand we see from public sector bodies looking to fully leverage all the benefits a dedicated fibre network can bring to a city,” added Mesch.

A Level 3 agreement
CityFibre has also struck a new partnership with  service provider Level 3 Communications, which will see the US company able to sell services across the United Kingdom.

The master service agreement (MSA) sets out standard terms and pricing. Level 3 can procure fibre from CityFibre’s network to service enterprise customers across the UK.

The first call-off under the MSA is a dark fibre metro ring on CityFibre’s Edinburgh network, which Level 3 will use to connect to local customer sites.

Mesch said: “We are delighted to be able to announce both the MSA and the first commercial call-off in Edinburgh with Level 3 Communications.

“This marks an innovative solution for CityFibre customers, in providing both a resilient dark fibre metro ring as well as additional connections to customer locations.

“This agreement demonstrates the enhanced relevance our UK footprint now has to international service providers providing solutions to the UK market.

“Clearly, with our expanded presence in 37 towns and cities across the UK, we offer increased scope for Level 3 to migrate customers to on-net dark fibre connections with significant advantages in terms of cost and solution architecture.”