UK residential gigabit broadband operator Hyperoptic says it has secured an additional 100 million pounds in funding to accelerate expansion of its fiber to the premises (FTTP) footprint. A consortium of four European Tier 1 banks - BNP Paribas, ING, RBS, and Dutch investment bank NIBC - stepped up for the funding round.
This is Hyperoptic's third announced cash injection. The company received an equity investment led by Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd., a private investment vehicle managed by Soros Fund Management LLC, in 2013, followed by 21 million pounds from the European Investment Bank in 2016.
Hyperoptic says that for the past three consecutive years, it has installed over 20 million meters of dedicated fiber-optic cable (further than the distance from the UK to New Zealand), and network reach has grown by over 100%. The company's full fiber broadband is now available or installing in 28 cities and towns across the UK, and currently passing 350,000 residential homes and business units. Hyperoptic says its new funding will support plans to expand the network an additional sixfold and make its high-speed broadband service available to 2 million homes and businesses by 2022 and 5 million by 2025.
Fellow UK alternative operator CityFibre is also raising capital (see "CityFibre plans to raise 200 million pounds for FTTH projects, acquisition"), and the funding for Hyperoptic will further fuel competition in the UK FTTH market.
"It is clear that Hyperoptic has impressed customers in 28 cities across the UK with its symmetrical 100-Mbps and 1-Gbps broadband services and has rapidly established itself as a leading broadband provider in the nation's biggest cities," said Kamalini Ganguly, Ovum's senior analyst, broadband and multiplay. "The additional 100 million pound 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."
"Full-fiber is the gold standard of broadband connectivity – and through companies like Hyperoptic, our commitment to world-class digital infrastructure for everyone in the UK is already becoming a reality," said Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury. "We're investing over 1 billion pounds in next-generation digital communications, including our recently launched 400 million pound Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, and a five-year business rates relief on new full-fiber investment – all of which will stimulate the market, and expand full-fiber networks around the country."
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