GEO Networks UK Acquires Digital Regions Remaining Fibre Optic Assets

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By Mark Jackson, ISPreview UK | July 16th, 2014

GEO Networks (Zayo Group), a dedicated fibre optic solutions provider for the United Kingdom, has gobbled up around 1,000 miles worth of fibre optic cabling in South Yorkshire (England), which use to belong to the now defunct Digital Region (DRL) broadband network, for an undisclosed sum.

The Digital Region network itself, which fell under the weight of massive public debt and a failure to attract enough customers to stay afloat, is due to close during mid-August. Meanwhile the local authorities (Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield) have recently confirmed that the an alternative £20m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) based scheme will work with BT to make superfast broadband connections available to the majority of local premises (here).

A Digital Region Spokesperson said (The Star):

The assets will be transferred over to Geo Networks and decommissioning work will commence following the migration of all Digital Region customers from the network in August 2014. … Zayo plan to incorporate the fibre assets into the nationwide Geo network, and provide high-bandwidth fibre services to businesses and datacentres within the South Yorkshire region as well as carrying out the decommissioning of the existing Digital Region street furniture.”

The sale might help the local authorities to regain at least some of their investment, although most of it will probably be used to help pay down the £14m or so of debt that’s still owed to the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).