Hyperoptic, a UK fibre alternative network provider, recently revealed its intention to lay off more than 100 employees. Most of the impacted staff members are network engineers who operate in Scotland and North West England, where Hyperoptic has mostly completed its network construction. The company plans to reassign approximately 40 network build engineers to customer build and customer connections teams. Additionally, it will eliminate a layer of management within its infrastructure division.
Dana Tobak, the CEO of Hyperoptic, stated, “To support our ongoing growth at Hyperoptic, we have redirected approximately 40 employees to customer-facing engineering positions and are considering making around 110 staff members redundant in the UK as we concentrate more on areas that provide us with the broadest customer coverage.” The company is committed to offering assistance and training to employees transitioning to customer-centric roles, while also ensuring that those departing receive appropriate support in recognition of their contributions.
This year, several companies in the telecommunications sector have announced workforce reductions. Zzoomm and CitFibre, rival alternative networks, have both unveiled plans to lay off hundreds of employees due to macroeconomic pressures. Furthermore, BT aims to reduce its workforce by 40% (around 55,000 jobs) by the end of the decade, asserting that AI could handle many of the current job responsibilities.
In recent years, the UK’s fibre market has witnessed significant investments, leading to a diverse range of alternative networks competing with the incumbent operator Openreach to establish nationwide full fibre coverage. However, Openreach’s rollout has exceeded expectations, and when combined with the challenging economic environment in the UK over the past year, alternative networks are beginning to face difficulties.
While consolidation within the industry appears inevitable, the specific details regarding when, where, and how it will occur remain uncertain. The operators in the UK’s alternative network ecosystem will undoubtedly discuss the evolution of the industry in 2023 during the upcoming Connected Britain event.