Matthew Hare, chief executive at rural full fibre broadband provider, Gigaclear has stepped down from the company he founded eight years ago.
Hare is succeeded, effective immediately, by Mike Surrey, previously chief operating officer, and now interim chief executive at the company.
Since founding the business, Hare has been a vocal champion for rural communities, lobbying with Central Government, Local Government and Regulators, and was recently recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for Services to Broadband Provision in the UK (Connected Britain rewards those ‘helping to revolutionise Britain’s connectivity landscape’).
In March, existing shareholder, Infracapital made a formal offer to acquire the company’s share capital, and the procedures, and the deal was closed in May. Gigaclear provides full fibre gigabit broadband services to more than 65,000 rural homes in the southern half of the UK, and has announced its plans to reach over 350,000 homes and businesses by 2021.
Charles McGregor, independent chairman commented on the news: ‘Having built Gigaclear into the most successful rural broadband company in the UK, Matthew has secured its financial future with the backing of institutional investors Infracapital and Railpen.’
Added Stephen Nelson, asset management director of Infracapital, added: ‘We have worked closely with Matthew since our first investment in Gigaclear in 2015 and would like to thank him for the considerable amount he has achieved. We look forward to supporting Mike and the team in delivering the vision of bringing ultrafast, full fibre connectivity to rural Britain.’
Gigaclear is also currently undertaking an ambitious schedule to full-fibre-enable rural properties in more than 20 counties over the next two years, many in conjunction with Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). Commented Surrey: ’Addressing the striking imbalance in the provision of ultra-fast broadband between urban and rural communities in the UK remains our driving ambition. We are giving the countryside the gigabit advantage they deserve. My number one priority in the near term is to accelerate the pace of full fibre delivery to those communities to which we are committed, and I look forward to working with our stakeholders, our key suppliers and my hugely capable team to deliver upon that ambition.’