Gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic has received an investment from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to expand its fibre-to-the-premises network to reach more UK homes and business.
The EIB has agreed to provide £21 million (€25 million) for investment by Hyperoptic to provide gigabit fibre broadband to more than a half-a-million homes in cities across the UK. This represents the EIB’s largest-ever dedicated backing for an internet network investment in the UK.
This significant investment from EIB brings the total investment into Hyperoptic to more than £75 million. Two years ago, the operator received close to £50 million from Quantum Strategic Partners, a private fund managed for investor George Soros.
The new eight-year EIB loan will be used to support Hyperoptic’s planned expansion of gigabit internet access in urban areas that only have slow access at present. Hyperoptic currently operates networks in 13 UK cities, but has already announced expansion to 20. The EIB-backed network expansion seeks to reach more than 300,000 homes over the next three years.
‘Hyperoptic is excited by the European Investment Bank’s investment, which will further fuel our roll out and addressable market expansion. The confidence of both EIB and Soros Fund Management LLC supports the importance of FTTP in providing a boost to the UK’s digital infrastructure and economy,’ said Dana Tobak, CEO of Hyperoptic.
‘The European Investment Bank is pleased to support Hyperoptic’s roll-out of super-fast broadband in cities across the UK. This exciting new initiative will transform economic activity, healthcare, education and access to key services and represents the EIB’s first targeted support to address slow urban communications in UK,’ said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank vice president.
Over the last five years the EIB has provided nearly €13 billion to improve broadband and telecom infrastructure across Europe. Last year its investments in the telecom sector totalled £5.6 billion, representing the largest annual engagement to date.
Since 1975 the European Investment Bank has provided more than £5 billion for investment in broadband and telecom services across the UK and has supported Vodafone, EE, British Telecom, Gigaclear, Arqiva and Inmarsat.
In the UK, the EIB has also supported rural fibre-optic broadband builder Gigaclear (see Gigaclear rural broadband plan gets €25M EIB support).
Since the start of EIB lending in the UK in 1973, it has supported nearly £16 billion of overall investment in 40 projects across the country. The European Investment Bank is directly owned by the 28 European Union member states, including a 16 per cent share held by the UK government.
The EIB’s loan to Hyperoptic is supported by ‘InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators’, MidCap Growth Finance with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments.