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CityFibre to invest 2.5 billion pounds in full-fibre for UK homes

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By Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – CityFibre, a British broadband operator backed by Goldman Sachs <GS.N>, said it would spend 2.5 billion pounds ($3.25 billion) on rolling out fibre networks in 37 towns and cities, offering ultra-fast connections to as many as 5 million homes.

The company, which was bought by Goldman Sachs West Street Infrastructure Partners and private equity firm Antin for $750 million earlier this year, is taking on national provider BT <BT.L>, which has faced criticism for the extent of its own full-fibre ambitions.

CityFibre said its networks, which offer gigabit speeds, would help deliver one third of the government’s 2025 target of 15 million homes.

“Our roll out will soon bring to scale an innovative wholesale network, providing internet service providers and mobile network operators with greater choice and unrivalled technical capabilities, benefiting all sectors of the market,” Chief Executive Greg Mesch said on Wednesday.

The company signed a partnership deal last year with Vodafone <VOD.L> to market its networks in 10 cities, including Edinburgh, Coventry and Leeds.

It said on Wednesday it had identified another 27 towns and cities, including Bristol, Glasgow and Manchester, where it would roll out full-fibre connectivity.

(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by David Evans)