Gigaclear says investment will allow it to become largest rural FTTP provider in the UK
Fibre to the Premise (FTTP) network provider Gigaclear has raised £30 million in funding to continue its rollout of 1Gbps superfast broadband services in rural areas
Infracapital, Prudential’s infrastructure investment arm, has pledged £20 million while existing backer Woodford Investment Management is promising an additional £10 million. The new investments build on the £6.5 million received by Gigaclear in January.
The company already operates 23 FTTP networks and has another 31 under construction. It says the additional money will be used to reach more underserved communities over the next two years.
“The divide between cut-off rural communities and connected towns and cities has never been greater, and we see Prudential and Woodford’s investments as a strong endorsement of our business plan to become the largest rural fibre-to-the-premises provider in the UK, bridging that divide by building ultrafast, pure fibre networks,” said Matthew Hare, Gigaclear CEO.
“These investments give us the resources needed to accelerate our rollout over the next 24 months to many more communities.”
Most of the UK’s fibre infrastructure is based on Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses copper for the final few metres of the connection. A number of operators, including CityFibre and Hyperoptic, offer FTTP connections, however these are mostly restricted to urban areas.
Virgin Media plans to expand its cable network to four million more properties as part of a £3 billion investment. However it is expected that the majority of locations earmarked for the rollout will either be in cities or places already served by BT.
The UK government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme aims to connect 95 percent of the UK population to superfast broadband by 2017, and has so far connected more than two million properties.