UK all-fiber broadband startup toob raises £75 million

Another all-fiber broadband provider in the UK is ready to roll. Amber Infrastructure Group says it will provide £75 million in majority funding via the National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF) to toob, which expects to supply gigabit broadband to more than 100,000 UK premises by the end of 2021 and pass more than 1 million customer locations in the next ten years.

Another all-fiber broadband provider in the UK is ready to roll. Amber Infrastructure Group says it will provide £75 million in majority funding via its National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF) to toob, which expects to supply gigabit broadband to more than 100,000 UK premises by the end of 2021 and pass more than 1 million customer locations in the next ten years.

Portsmouth-based toob was founded and by CEO Nick Parbutt and CFO Mike Banwell; each was a former director at Vodafone UK. Vodafone has partnered with CityFibre on the latter’s fiber to the premises (FTTP) roll out (see “CityFibre and Vodafone partner for first city-wide FTTP program in Scotland”). Charles McGregor, former chairman at broadband provider Gigaclear, has joined toob in the same role.

toob will “deploy the latest fibre technology over existing infrastructure as often as it can,” according to an Amber press release. Along these lines, the startup plans to leverage Openreach’s ducts and pole access (PIA) offering, which is expected to become available next month.

“We are delighted to be partnering with Amber Infrastructure and to have secured Charles as chairman,” said Parbutt. “toob now has the right people, the right plan and the right funding in place to capitalize on the exciting opportunity ahead of us. We want to enable families, businesses and communities to live, work and play in ways which are only made possible with the advent of gigabit broadband.”

The NDIF complements the UK Government’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) initiative, which sees the Government provide funds for broadband infrastructure deployment that are to be matched by the private sector (see “UK Government's Autumn Statement targets new FTTP connections”). Other broadband startups have launched within the newly fertile funding environment (see, for example, “New UK broadband carrier Zzoomm taps ADTRAN for XGS-PON FTTH”). Meanwhile, previously established alternative fiber broadband providers have garnered additional funding as well, if not from the DIIF (see, for example, “Hyperoptic raises £250 million to fund FTTP network expansion”).

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