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Cityfibre Appoint Richard Thorpe as New Chief Delivery Officer

Thursday, November 21st, 2019 (10:33 am) - Score 953

Fibre optic network builder Cityfibre, which is currently aiming to rollout a 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network to cover 5 million UK premises across 60 cities and towns by the end of 2025 (here), has created the new role of Chief Delivery Officer (CDO) and appointed Richard Thorpe to fill it.

Richard joins from Digicel Group where he was the Chief Information Officer (CIO), responsible for the IT strategy and transformation of the entire BSS estate for the Caribbean mobile and fixed line operator. Prior to that, Richard has led a variety of large-scale full fibre network rollouts in roles including Head of Fibre Deployment at Vodafone, and Head of Construction for NBN in Australia.

As CDO, Richard will be responsible for optimising the end-to-end network delivery process as well as the design and implementation of a target operating model capable of supporting CityFibre’s rapidly accelerating Gigabit City build programme.

Interestingly today’s announcement also gives us a small update on Cityfibre’s size. In a little over a year the company claims to have already mobilised in 27 towns and cities, has network construction underway in 16 of those cities and towns creating 1,600 construction jobs, and Gigabit-speed services already live in 10 cities.

Richard Thorpe added:

“I’m delighted to join what I consider to be one of the most exciting digital infrastructure projects underway worldwide. My initial focus will be to build on the great progress made so far, optimising the end-to-end process, ensuring the right skills are being put to work in the right places, and analysing the way we work with contractors, encouraging long term growth as we scale together. Ultimately, I’m determined to accelerate our build programmes while retaining the high quality necessary to be a trusted national network. The progress CityFibre has made to date is impressive but I am confident we can inject still more rocket fuel into our build engine.”

One interesting point about today’s announcement, which is easily overlooked, is where Cityfibre talks about the rollout of “wholesale full fibre infrastructure to more than five million homes and businesses across more than 60 towns and cities by 2025” (this is up from the 37 cities and towns they originally mentioned – possibly due to including their Dark Fibre networks alongside FTTH).

However, if recent reports are to be believed (here), then Labour’s new pledge to nationalise Openreach and offer “free full fibre” to all homes and businesses may have put a temporary brake on some of Cityfibre’s plans due to investors adopting a more cautious approach until after the General Election. Naturally this has unsettled commercial players across the industry.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Alex H

    Hi Mark,
    Your sidenote about a possible investment freeze due to Labour’s election pledge isn’t accurate as their manifesto has been out for less than 24 hours and can’t have possibly had any impact at this stage (Labour aren’t even in power).
    I’m encouraged to see the growth of CityFibre and hopefully they can build on this growth.

    • Might I suggest that we’ve talked to more alternative network builders in the industry than you probably have and there is already an issue. It doesn’t matter whether Labour is in power yet or not, it doesn’t take much to spook investors and that is just how the world works. Any party proposing to do something like this would have the same impact.

      https://news.sky.com/story/labour-broadband-pledge-stalls-talktalk-sale-11861708

    • Avatar A_Builder

      I’m afraid @MJ is right – across a lot of sectors investment = no descisions until after the election. Labour = no investment.

      It is impossible to justify commercial investment when the threat of confiscation of assets by the state exists.

      The markets get spooked very easily.

    • Avatar FibreBubble

      Ispreview is an opinion site. The articles reflect Mark’s opinion.

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