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CityFibre seeks to raise £185m of funding to build its vision of Gigabit Britain 0

CityFibre seeks to raise £185m of funding to build its vision of Gigabit Britain

CityFibre is doing things differently to how full fibre roll-outs are seen by many people, i.e. they operator as the wholesale dark fibre provider with invariably local Internet providers partnering in the towns where their network has been rolled out with local authorities and large businesses often acting as the anchor tennant to ensure that the network does not sit dormant for decades and be just another fibre white elephant. The big news today it is raising £185 million to invest in expanding its footprint and crucially for the public to commence in 2018 actual fibre to the home roll-outs in five to ten new towns and cities in addition to the metro fibre network that underpins the Gigabit City claims.

CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC (“CityFibre” or the “Company”), a designer, builder, owner and operator of fibre optic infrastructure in UK towns and cities, today announces that it intends to raise minimum gross proceeds of £185 million at 55 pence per share, fully underwritten by Citigroup, finnCap, Liberum and Macquarie (the “Banks”) (the “Firm Placing”), with the intention to raise further proceeds through an accelerated bookbuilding process which will be launched immediately following this announcement (the “ABB Placing”) (together, the “Placing”). In addition, the Company intends to raise further gross proceeds of up to £15 million through a non-underwritten offer for subscription (the “Offer for Subscription”). CityFibre on Investment The metro fibre network currently exists in 42 towns and cities across the UK and the expansion is intended to take this to not less than 50 areas by 2020.

The York trial is described as demonstrating strong demand and apparently negotiations are at an advanced stage with retailers to market full fibre services using an expanded CityFibre network. Hopefully this means that as 2018 progresses rather than talking about a rapidly increased number of premises actually passed by FTTH from CityFibre and as with York report on the speeds people are getting (homes passed using the internationally accepted definitions means in York there are 20,000 to 25,000 premises believed to be passed currently. The recent placing of CityFibre in the centre of the £400m HM Treasury Ultrafast broadband investment fund is now much clearer since CityFibre appear keen to continue raising capital to continue to take custom anyway from the traditional leased line market leaders but are also seeking to expand more into the consumer arena with partners.

The purchase of Entanet for £29 million may be a surprise for some, but with Entanet as a well established wholesaler that has some 1,500 partners it providers a perfect avenue for dealing with the long tail of smaller providers who often provider local IT services in addition to broadband connectivity to businesses operating in their local area. This should help to increase the number of business customers and home workers/prosumers signing up to the full fibre services. What is clear for the next few years is that firms who do cable laying are going to be very busy and it may be that access to labour and potentially rising costs if supply is short might actually be what holds back a vision of a full fibre UK more than access to funding.

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Peak and off peak performance at largest broadband providers in June 2017 0

Peak and off peak performance at largest broadband providers in June 2017

Peak and off peak performance at largest broadband providers in June 2017 It is time to take a harder look at what the masses of speed test results that we get from our broadband speed test 1  tell us about the largest broadband providers and by looking at this each month of the year over time it is possible to get a sense for which providers get closest to keeping people happy during the busiest times of the day. Off-Peak Tests Results June 2017 Off-Peak defined as midnight to 5.59pm Median Average Provider tbbx1 Test (1 download) httpx6 Test (6 downloads) % difference Upload Speed Quality Latency BT 25.9 Mbps 29.1 Mbps -11% 5.9 Mbps 1.00 41ms EE 11.3 Mbps 12.3 Mbps -8.1% 0.8 Mbps 1.00 49ms Plusnet 19.7 Mbps 22.2 Mbps -11.1% 1.6 Mbps 1.00 48ms Sky 13.6 Mbps 16.4 Mbps -17.1% 3.1 Mbps 1.00 52ms TalkTalk 12.2 Mbps 13.9 Mbps -12.2% 0.9 Mbps 1.00 54ms Virgin Media 40.3 Mbps 61.4 Mbps -34.3% 6.1 Mbps 1.00 44ms The quality metric stands out a lot this month as all of the big five are identical, or more precisely figure is capped at the value of 1 (i.e. the best value we display).

After many months of monitoring this score this is the first time this has happened, and suggests maybe its time for a recalibration and further extra investigative work. The good news is that on the basis of the median scores that the five major providers overall have had a good month, though as always with an average no matter whether its the median or mean there are always those that under perform and over perform. Peak Tests Results June 2017 Peak time defined as 6pm to 11:59pm Median Average Provider tbbx1 Test (1 download) httpx6 Test (6 downloads) % difference Upload Speed Quality Latency BT 25.7 Mbps 27.5 Mbps -6.5% 5.6 Mbps 1.00 43ms EE 11.7 Mbps 13.5 Mbps -14.6% 1.3 Mbps 1.00 50ms Plusnet 19.3 Mbps 23.1 Mbps -16.4% 1.7 Mbps 1.00 48ms Sky 12.1 Mbps 15.6 Mbps -22.4% 2.3 Mbps 1.00 55ms TalkTalk 11.9 Mbps 14.4 Mbps -17.4% 1 Mbps 1.00 56ms Virgin Media 33.7 Mbps 53.2 Mbps -36.6% 5.9 Mbps 1.04 39ms The main speed test results suggested that Virgin Media had improved and at peak times they are only provider from the big 6 to breach the magic best score of 1.00 on quality, telling us that there is still a sizeable tail of users having problems, but that this is less of an issue than it was in May.

In fact looking through our monthly data sets the quality score is back in line with results from 2015.

Comments Post a comment Login Register 2 3 References ^ broadband speed test (www.thinkbroadband.com) ^ Login (www.thinkbroadband.com) ^ Register (www.thinkbroadband.com)

Does good superfast coverage always mean good broadband speeds? 0

Does good superfast coverage always mean good broadband speeds?

Just a few days now until its time to look at the monthly analysis of the broadband speeds for well over sixty service providers and with the quarter coming to an end too we will have a new set of results to add to our broadband speeds and coverage site. To mark the addition of a new table that will allow people to compare all the UK councils 1 in a single table we have looked at the relationship between broadband coverage levels and the speeds people are recording using our speed test 2 . The link between broadband speeds people are recording on average across the UK council areas is an important one for several reasons and most importantly with public money being spent to improve superfast coverage areas in many areas councils will be key to see an observable difference.

Another big factor is to verify where the announced take-up figures for superfast broadband is at all reflected in what the public is recording in speed tests. The graph for superfast shows a fairly set pattern of speeds increasing until you hit the 90% mark where local authorities become more more spread out in terms of what we saw from our crowd based observations in Q1 2017. To see if this was due to the influence of ultrafast broadband coverage we have produced the same plot but ordered by ultrafast coverage on the x-axis.

The ultrafast plot does appear to show that the median download speed for a local council area is linked to the level of ultrafast coverage. The difference between the mean and median measures particularly for the slowest council areas needs a mention and this is due to the fact that with the take-up levels of superfast broadband those who have upgraded to a superfast (or ultrafast) option are skewing the results and this can also be seen the quartile (25%) figures. Once the Q2 2017 results are available we will be switching to displaying the 20th and 80th percentile figures for both provider speeds and speeds in the different parts of the UK.

This is due to the expected changes in how broadband speeds will be advertised.

The Shetland Islands 3 who have the slowest median download speeds only started to see take-up for FTTC/VDSL2 based services take off in Q1/Q2 2015 and as take-up increases the mean is likely to increase substantionally since in Q1 those with ADSL recorded a median of 4.1 Mbps compared to those on FTTC seeing 29.2 Mbps, eventually as take-up and coverage of FTTC increases substantion the median will also rise.

It is important that campaigners, lobbyists and policy makers understand that observed speeds will always lag behind the availability of faster broadband, this can be minimised to some extent by good local promotion of the better options that are available to people, but due to the nature of broadband contracts there will always be some lag. A key part is how the speed data is trending over time and our tracking goes all the way back to 2009, well ahead of the BDUK process delivering anything and also before the commercial superfast rollouts had delivered anything significant.  Comments Post a comment Login Register 4 5 References ^ UK councils (labs.thinkbroadband.com) ^ speed test (www.thinkbroadband.com) ^ Shetland Islands (labs.thinkbroadband.com) ^ Login (www.thinkbroadband.com) ^ Register (www.thinkbroadband.com)