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Hyperoptic secures £100M to accelerate UK fibre roll-out

Fibre-based service provider Hyperoptic has secured an additional £100 million in funding to accelerate the deployment of gigabit broadband networks to UK consumers.

The cash injection comes from a consortium of four tier-one European banks: BNP Paribas, ING, RBS and Dutch investment bank NIBC. LionTree Advisors acted as Hyperoptic’s financial advisor.

This is a large slice of investment; Hyperoptic has previously received about £75 million, including £50 million from Quantum Strategic Partners, and £21 million from the European Investment Bank (see Hyperoptic lands £21M loan from European Investment Bank).

The new funding will support Hyperoptic’s ambitious plan to grow its network exponentially, to make service available to two million homes by 2022 and five million by 2025. This puts the scale of its roll-out on a par with BT, which has said it wants to reach two million homes with direct fibre connections (see BT touts £6B ultrafast broadband investment).

Fibre broadband from Hyperoptic is currently available across 28 cities and towns across the UK. Over the last six years the company has grown its network fivefold, and now passes 350,000 homes and businesses.

Dana Tobak, CEO of Hyperoptic, explained: “We are proud to have created a network of gigabit cities where residents can live and work without connectivity constraints. Through private funding and partnerships with developers, freeholders, and councils we have hugely increased our footprint – but it’s our customers that have been the biggest catalyst in fuelling our growth. We have a 4* Trustpilot rating; the highest in the industry … This new round of funding enables us to offer even more people a credible broadband alternative that is future-proofed for decades to come.”

Hyperoptic works directly with building owners and managers to install optical fibre to larger property complexes, which are often overlooked by telecom operators like BT and Virgin Media. Service is extended to individual apartments or business units via optical fibre or Ethernet cable (Cat5 cable can carry symmetric gigabit speeds over distances up to 100m). So far, more than 20 million metres of dedicated cable have been installed.

The company started out by targeting large residential and commercial developments of 80 units and above. Now, Hyperoptic is developing its business model to enable it to offer services to sites starting at just 25 units; based upon demand and proximity to its fibre network, it hopes to be able to service even smaller groups.

Commenting on the announcement, Kamalini Ganguly, senior analyst, broadband and multiplay, Ovum, said: “The additional £100 million funding will enable Hyperoptic to expand its footprint further and provide more competition for bigger providers such as British Telecom and Virgin Media. An increase in competitive broadband choices can only be good for UK consumers.”

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