Building a better network for Britain

By Greg Mesch, Chief Executive, CityFibre

Since 2011, CityFibre has argued that Full Fibre should be the standard for everyone in the UK. Now in 2021, with over a million homes ready for service on our own rapidly-scaling network, the ‘gigabit imperative’ is set and, fortunately, we’re no longer alone in this mission. Deploying at scale and pace just to deliver faster broadband speeds is not what we’re about though. We’re building a world-class digital infrastructure platform where everything is better because of the way it’s designed, and where a radically elevated customer experience is the overriding measure of success.

The last few years have seen a momentous shift in support for Full Fibre at government and industry level, and the mission to upgrade the UK’s copper network has been taken up by infrastructure builders large and small. This shift means that Full Fibre will soon become the new de facto medium of data transport for UK homes and business.

No longer is our industry debating the merits, viability or necessity for a gigabit-powered future. Instead, it’s asking: “how rapidly can we deploy it?” and “how long will it take for the UK to catch up with the countries we lag behind?”.

But, as Full Fibre becomes more widely available, it’s network quality and reliability, together with a vastly superior service experience, that will define the best networks and deliver the real benefits for our nation.

We must lay the best foundations for tomorrow

If any company responsible for upgrading our nation sets out merely to replace copper with fibre just to get the job done as fast and cheaply as possible, they risk doing our nation a disservice. Instead, we must harness this period of change and ensure the investment we’re making delivers something significantly better than what went before.

It matters because the success of our nation’s service-based economy is dependent on us delivering infrastructure that doesn’t just ‘catch us up’ but leapfrogs us far beyond, securing our place as the best digitally connected nation in the world.

A unique opportunity

CityFibre has had a unique opportunity to build a brand-new digital infrastructure from the ground up, with no concessions needed for legacy technology or systems. With us there is no migration from old to new and no copper or coaxial network to maintain while a new one takes shape.

Our network is high quality and ultra-reliable, and the state-of-the-art Fibre Exchanges that power it are driving a micro edge computing reality. As we progress towards our 8 million home target, we’re feeding accurate geospatial and network performance data into intelligent platform management systems – marking the start of a data flow that is all about delivering exceptional end-customer experience.

Thanks to these systems, we can already monitor emerging issues in real-time, meaning repairs can be underway even before they are reported. Smart automation is also providing zero-touch order provisioning and enabling the majority of our Full Fibre Network services to be delivered within a few days. Managing the everyday in this way leaves our people free to better-manage exceptions for our partners, pre-empt problems, find solutions and strive to make every interaction the best it can be.

Better networks will benefit all

At the heart of our mission to build the UK’s finest Full Fibre network, is the belief that services should be delivered for our partners right first time, every time. In the simplest terms, we believe our service should never let theirs down and that up to the minute information should be available easily and on demand. Achieving this not only strips service-related cost out of their businesses, it empowers them to elevate their own customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.

This whole journey is exciting for us, but what’s even better is seeing that same excitement in the eyes of our partners as they learn more about the path we’re on and see the opportunity first-hand. Extraordinary progress is already being made to co-create something exceptional and that’s why we’re seeing more and more ISPs backing us as their network of choice.

Proving that not all networks are equal

CityFibre sparked the UK’s Full Fibre revolution and now, with over one million UK homes able to connect to our network in as little as 5 working days, we’re throwing down the gauntlet once again – and not just on service.

Instead of talking about and trialling next-generation network technology, we’re out there deploying it. We’re making future- and power-efficient equipment choices and properly managing the environment in which it all lives. By committing to a net zero strategy, we’re also proving that these efforts can benefit our planet too.

Together all of this is setting new standards for our industry and new levels of expectation for our partners and their customers.

Our whole team is focused on ensuring everything we do is better by design, and in the months ahead we’ll be lifting the lid on some fantastic technology projects and service initiatives. Our journey to deliver a world-class digital infrastructure platform for Britain is well underway, but the best is definitely yet to come. Find out more about how we’re building a better network for Britain.

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