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CityFibre plans jobs splurge to boost UK fiber build

UK-based alternative fiber network provider CityFibre announced that it is in the process of seeking up to 10,000 new recruits to help with the construction and rollout of its full-fiber network across the UK.

The recruitment and training program will extend over three years and will target "thousands of unemployed UK residents" as well as provide job opportunities for experienced construction and telecoms workers. The focus will be placed on workers who live near the 100 towns and cities CityFibre has identified for rollout. In March 2020, CityFibre said it had announced 62 of the locations, but more have been subsequently unveiled.

CityFibre certainly seems to be ticking a few boxes with the announcement, offering recruitment to people who may have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 crisis; stepping up efforts to increase the percentage of workers from minority backgrounds; and showing willingness to meet the UK government's target to roll out fiber networks across the UK by 2025.

As outlined by Steve Holliday, chairman at CityFibre, the program "will reach deep into our society to include some of those most in need of opportunity. Ultimately, it will ensure the skilled workforce is in place to get the job done and at the same time provide up-skilling and well-paid jobs across more than 100 towns and cities."

CityFibre is under pressure to extend full-fiber networks to 8 million properties, up from a previous target of 5 million, after its recent £200 million (US$253 million) takeover of FibreNation from TalkTalk.

It is gearing up to become an infrastructure alternative to Openreach and Virgin Media, and it has promised to invest as much as £4 billion ($5.06 billion) in construction, up from £2.5 billion ($3.16 billion) under the initial scheme. Financially backed by Goldman Sachs, CityFibre and its so-called "anchor tenants" do not have to worry about funding.

For more on this topic, see:

  • Eurobites: Tele2 Sweden goes 5G roaming in Latvia
  • Eurobites: UK's NHS goes its own way on COVID-19 app
  • Eurobites: Hungary's 5G auction brings home the bacon
  • Eurobites: CityFibre accelerates UK network rollout
  • Eurobites: Three chooses CityFibre for backhaul beyond London
  • CityFibre CEO: I'd welcome BT as a customer
  • CityFibre expands UK empire with £200M acquisition

    — Anne Morris, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

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