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Shareholders green light FibreNation acquisition

Tristia Harrison, Chief Executive of TalkTalk.jpg

Shareholders have given the green light for CityFibre to acquire network builder FibreNation from Talk Talk Group, paving the way for a roll out plan that will reach up to eight million premises and create up to 7,000 construction jobs.

By leveraging FibreNation’s experience in infrastructure, CityFibre will be able to increase its rollout targets from five million premises to eight million, supporting an investment programme of £4 billion.

Tristia Harrison, chief executive of TalkTalk, said: “Now more than ever, reliable and affordable connectivity should be available to every single home in Britain, and this agreement shows that a full fibre future can be delivered through competition and investment by many players. CityFibre’s ambitions to take forward our hard work with FibreNation over the last five years, should take us a step closer to that fully connected Britain.

“The sale of FibreNation to CityFibre, in combination with a competitive wholesale agreement, enables us to continue our strategy to accelerate TalkTalk’s fibre growth for our residential and business customers, thereby delivering a superior customer experience at an affordable price,” Harrison added.

Accelerating the UK’s full fibre roll out, the deal will see CityFibre tap FibreNation’s experience in infrastructure development to extend its rollout from five million to eight million premises across more than 100 towns and cities. To date, CityFibre has identified 62 towns and cities to benefit from its rollout and has connected such public sector sites as hospitals, GPs, schools and community venues.

As part of an investment programme worth up to £4 billion, the work is estimated to create up to 7,000 construction jobs outside London.

Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre, said: “Completing our acquisition of FibreNation marks an acceleration in our ability to deploy the critical future-proof digital infrastructure our country needs. By significantly expanding our rollout ambition to up to eight million premises, CityFibre is helping to answer the call for a full fibre Britain.

“With TalkTalk now joining our networks to offer full fibre services to their residential and business customers, we look forward to working with our new FibreNation colleagues to maximise the benefit of our rollouts,” he continued.

FibreNation was founded in 2018, four years after a joint venture between TalkTalk, Sky and CityFibre was launched to deploy full fibre infrastructure and services across the City of York.

According to a statement, the FibreNation brand “will remain in market” and the company will continue to operate and expand its networks where nearly 60,000 premises can gain access to gigabit speed broadband services from TalkTalk.

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