CityFibre, Fujitsu form UK FTTH engineering alliance

Two of the major players in the UK FTTH scene have joined forces. CityFibre Holdings Ltd., the firm that bought the assets of the failed FiberCity Networks, has formed an engineering alliance with Fujitsu worth $50 million in the first instance.

May 4th, 2012

Two of the major players in the UK FTTH scene have joined forces. CityFibre Holdings Ltd., the firm that bought the assets of the failed FiberCity Networks, has formed an engineering alliance with Fujitsu worth $50 million in the first instance.

Last November CityFibre announced plans to spend up to £500 million to bring FTTH to 1 million homes and 50,000 businesses in the UK’s second-tier cities (see “CityFibre plans to invest up to £500m in UK fiber rollout”). Earlier in the year, Fujitsu had said it would invest up to £2 billion on rolling out FTTH to 5 million UK homes, providing that it could access at least some of the UK government funds allocated to superfast broadband deployment (see “Fujitsu unveils UK FTTH network plans”).

Under the terms of the agreement, Fujitsu UK and Ireland will be responsible for the key elements of planning, building, and operating of CityFibre’s fiber infrastructure. The agreement covers the roll out of fiber to all homes in the cities of Bournemouth and York, according to a spokesperson.

“Fujitsu’s credentials in network deployment could not be stronger and few companies have as much knowledge of UK telecoms infrastructure,” said Greg Mesch, CityFibre’s CEO. “They are uniquely positioned to assist CityFibre in meeting our ambitious objectives across the entire fiber infrastructure spectrum, from mobile backhaul to metro networks and fiber-to-the premises.”

The choice of Bournemouth and York makes sense, as these are the two cities where work has already begun. CityFibre inherited an FTTH infrastructure that passes approximately 24,000 homes in the city of Bournemouth. And Fujitsu had previously worked with CityFibre to install a metro fiber ring in the city of York, and said it has reached an agreement with the City of York Council to bring fiber direct to homes and businesses there.

CityFibre declined to give a meaningful update about the status of the Bournemouth network, saying merely that “trials are ongoing.” It’s now a year since the company said it would reinstate the network.

In the meantime, Fujitsu hasn’t made much progress with its own FTTH deployment plans. Having carried out a small trial in the Wirral on Merseyside using BT’s ducts and poles, the company is in the process of bidding for government projects – a process that takes at least 12 months.




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