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Fibre optic infrastructure provider Cityfibre has said it intends to roll out an ultrafast 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Home network in up to ten UK cities next year, potentially positioning it as a key competitor or BT's Openreach.

Part of the funding will be raised through listing on London's junior AIM stock market, with Cityfibre saying it hopes to raise minimum gross proceeds of £185 million at 55p per share. A further £15 million could be accrued thanks to an offer for subscription and an accelerated bookbuilding process.

There has been no announcement yet as to which cities the company intends to target for the broadband rollout, nor has it revealed exactly how long such a project would take to deploy.

Chief executive of Cityfibre Greg Mesch said there is growing demand from both internet service providers and their customers for full-fibre infrastructure.

"Our announcement to enter the residential market is the first step in our vision to bring gigabit connectivity to millions of UK homes and small businesses. This is about more than just better broadband - this is about future-proofing the digital infrastructure we've all come to rely on at work, at school, at home and in our communities," he added.

Currently, Cityfibre has full fibre FTTP networks in 42 UK cities, but this is the first time it has targeted residential connectivity in such a large-scale way.

Openreach announced earlier this year that it wants to make ultrafast broadband available to 12 million homes and businesses by 2020, but many industry experts have criticised its past performance and the time it is taking to make such connectivity available. 

It may be that this announcement by Cityfibre spurs on other companies to launch projects to rival BT's offering.

The news comes in the same week that a £400 million fund was announced by the government to boost investment in digital infrastructure and ensure that remote workers have access to reliable internet connections.

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