It is five years since communications specialists dbfb branched out into Milton Keynes in a bold and innovative move to help businesses to access a world- class fibre network. Managing director Simon Pickering explains more.

Back in 2016, Milton Keynes was hailed as one of the worst connected cities in the UK and was in desperate need of investment. dbfb was offered the opportunity to partner with

CityFibre - the UK’s largest alternative provider for wholesale fibre network infrastructure, and the builder of Gigabit Cities - and invest £2m over five years in to turning Milton Keynes into a connectivity beacon for others to aspire to. It was a much-deliberated decision, but the leap of faith

was worthwhile. Five years later, the partnership has facilitated £80m of

inward investment into Milton Keynes and Northampton, connecting more than 170 businesses to date. “That opportunity to become a launch

That, alongside networking, referrals and high-quality service is what Simon believes will help them to achieve their aim of turning over £15m a year by 2025. “In the next five years the marketplace will change

again,” said Simon. “The traditional way of making phone calls will change at the end of 2025 when BT turn off IDSN and everybody will have to move to internet-based telephone solutions. “The telephone platforms will have to move to internet

partner came with a significant investment - it wasn’t a decision we took lightly,” said managing director Simon Pickering. “It was a marketplace we didn’t know well at the time and Milton Keynes ranked as one of the lowest connected cities in the UK then. “The decision we took as dbfb has had a significant impact on Milton Keynes and we are incredibly proud of being part of delivering such impressive connectivity. The city now ranks, for business and home, as one of the most connected cities in the UK and we’ve paved the way in Milton Keynes for that connectivity opportunity.” Combining this with dbfb’s other core services, means


and that requires great connectivity, and we feel we are best placed to talk to businesses about that move and about what they need. “Our business model is very simple. We speak to customers, understand their pain points and deliver flexible solutions. “Communications is a complex area now.


It’s drifting into the IT world more than ever before. Most business owners just want it to work but they don’t have time to understand it. They need someone they can trust and do the right thing by the business and can support them as a human being. That’s our model – and it’s

quite a rare one in our industry. “We are over resourced for our revenue but we know that and we do it on purpose. Customers speak

to a person, a local person, as we’ve found most people would rather talk to people. “We are very lucky as a business. Customers that come

the company is perfectly positioned to bring ultrafast connectivity to local businesses, and then provide the all- important management and support for business-critical internet services. Its dedication to its four chosen key business focus areas

- people, platform, service and solutions - has led to impressive growth in recent years across all areas. This year the company aims to to increase its workforce to 40 and increase turnover to £7.5m. Simon, who took the helm in 2016, said: “We’ve seen

steady growth in Milton Keynes but I still believe that there’s a lot more we can do here. We’ve now got a great customer base in Milton Keynes. We need to invest again, there’s no doubt about that. That may be organically, like we have done in Northampton, or we may look to acquire.” The 50-year-old added: “We have definitely got to be

noisier about what we do in MK.” dbfb will soon be launching a five-year anniversary offer

for anyone moving over to CityFibre from another network and they are working closely with fellow Chamber members and the Milton Keynes business community to share their connectivity opportunity with more firms. Simon admits that the local marketplace has taken some

getting used to. “MK has two key business areas – there are very entrepreneurial start-up businesses or there are large enterprises. It’s a difficult balance of businesses and that’s been quite a steep learning curve for us.” But dbfb are proud of their simple and successful approach to technology – solutions without the jargon.

14 inbusiness JUNE/JULY 2021

to us stay with us and I believe that’s because of the valued service we offer.”

For more information on how dbfb can help you understand your company’s technology needs without the acronyms and jargon visit

dbfb team

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