Expanding fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband service provider Hyperoptic has secured an additional £100m funding from bankers BNP Paribas, ING, RBS and NIBC to roll out its network even further. It now hopes to pass two million homes and businesses in the next five years, and a further three million by 2025.
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Hyperoptic’s service is already available at 350,000 properties – mostly in multiple-occupancy residential blocks, the core of its proposition – in 28 towns and cities around the UK, offering gigabit speed services as standard.
The new funding will allow the firm to “exponentially” grow its coverage to people in urban areas who have been missed by the national Openreach roll-out, and change up its business model to offer services to smaller sites starting from 25 units and below, if wanted.
“We are proud to have created a network of gigabit cities where residents can live and work without connectivity constraints,” said Hyperoptic CEO Dana Tobak. “Through private funding and partnerships with developers, freeholders and councils, we have hugely increased our footprint – but it is our customers that have been the biggest catalyst in fuelling our growth.
“Our customers have really supported us by sharing their experiences with their neighbours, family and friends, which has meant we have been able to expedite our roll-outs across urban centres. This new round of funding enables us to offer even more people a credible broadband alternative that is future-proofed for decades to come.”
Having recently u-turned on the viability of FTTP as a central plank of future broadband policy, the government was quick to lend its support to Hyperoptic’s expansion plan.
“Full-fibre 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 are investing over £1bn in next-generation digital communications, including our recently launched £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, and a five-year business rates relief on new full-fibre investment – all of which will stimulate the market, and expand full-fibre networks around the country.”
Kamalini Ganguly, senior broadband and multiplay analyst at Ovum, added: “The additional £100m funding will enable Hyperoptic to expand its footprint further and provide more competition for bigger providers, such as BT and Virgin Media. An increase in competitive broadband choices can only be good for UK consumers.”