CityFibre awards contracts worth £1.5 billion to extend network in 27 UK towns

LONDON (Reuters) - British fibre broadband operator CityFibre said on Thursday it had awarded contracts worth 1.5 billion pounds to extend its ultrafast network to 27 more towns and cities, increasing its footprint by up to 3 million premises.

The contracts will create more than 3,750 new construction jobs across the UK, from Glasgow North in Scotland to Plymouth in southwest England, the company said.

CityFibre, which is backed by Antin Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs' West Street Infrastructure Partners, competes with larger rivals BT BT.L and Liberty Global's Virgin Media in building new networks.

The company said the awards meant it would be building networks able to connect more than 5 million premises by next summer.

It said it would launch the next phase of its programme, serving an additional 3 million premises, by the end of the year.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Stephen Addison