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UPD Hyperoptic Secure £50m to Expand UK 1Gbps Fibre Broadband Coverage

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 (7:37 am) - Score 1,410
hyperoptic uk fttb

Urban ISP Hyperoptic, which offers “hyper-sonicFTTH/B based broadband speeds of up to 1000Mbps (Megabits) to 20,000 homes in London (i.e. high-rise buildings and apartment blocks), has secured a new investment of £50m to help expand into 10 new UK cities by the end of 2014 (80,000 homes).

Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd., a private investment fund managed by Soros Fund Management LLC (George Soros) that focuses on capital-intensive start-ups, buyouts, and growth equity transactions, has committed the new money in order to help Hyperoptic achieve its original goal of making their fibre optic services available to 500,000 homes within the next 5 years (2018).

The investment fund itself typically seeks to acquire “world-class assets that can generate strong and growing cash flows” and, as a result of today’s deal, two Soros directors will join Hyperoptic’s board (Waldemar Szlezak and Joshua Ho-Walker).

Boris Ivanovic, Hyperoptic’s Chairman and Co-Founder, said:

Today’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in both our business model and the bright prospects for FTTH technology in the UK. As momentum continues to build for ‘smart cities’ and an increasingly technology-fuelled economy and society, the need to future proof our infrastructure has become absolutely critical and Hyperoptic will play a key role in doing just that.”

Bruno Ducharme, Hyperoptic’s New non-Executive Director, said:

In Hyperoptic, I see an exceptional team of entrepreneurs in the ISP marketplace, a proven business model to deliver cutting-edge broadband technology, and a big opportunity to meet the growing appetite for superfast broadband. I am pleased to play a part in supporting their rapid growth trajectory through this long-term infrastructure investment.”

It’s understood that Hyperoptic’s existing directors will continue to retain their majority control, although Soros is now said to hold a substantial stake in the business. Ivanovic also confirmed the ISPs worst kept secret and revealed plans to launch a pay-tv service.

The confirmation follows Hyperoptic’s recruitment of BTVision’s (IPTV) former Head of Propositions, Darren Shenkin, in March. The ISP has always planned to offer a TV solution, which will probably make use of the YouView platform.

UPDATE 9:07am

Added some more comments from Hyperoptic’s boss.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar MikeW

    Boris casually mentions FTTH in his quote, but isn’t Hyperoptic touting an FTTB model? Depending on copper to do the last 100 metres?

    It certainly was in all the previous news stories.

    • Avatar DTMark

      I thought it was FTTB then, from there, FTTP – perhaps others can clarify.

    • Avatar MikeW

      What do you mean by “… then, from there …”?

      Are you talking about time (ie FTTB up to now, FTTP in future)? Or about location (in which case I don’t follow your meaning)?

    • Avatar DTMark

      Fibre to the building e.g. the basement then fibre from there to the flats (think they’re all flats). From memory one or two early installations might have been put in at the same time as the building itself so Hyperoptic worked with them to get the cabling in place rather than have to run it later on.

      I don’t see why there would be any copper in the circuits (e.g. the speeds drop as you go further up the building) – you don’t roll out NGA broadband using copper.

    • Avatar MikeW

      I thought they did gigabit fibre to the basement, then gigabit ethernet (copper) to the flats. That way of using copper uses 4 pairs of cat 5e, and can get that to 100 metres.

      I just google’d and came up with this FAQ entry from Hyperoptic themselves:

      “Q: What kind of fibre network do you use?

      A: We install a Fibre-To-The-Building (FTTB) network. This means we run fibre optics all the way to the basement of your property, instead of a cabinet at the end of your street. Within the building we use Ethernet cabling or fibre depending on its characteristics, both offer the same throughput at this usage. In your premise you will be presented with a single Ethernet port.”

      And I found this review from someone where Hyperoptic installed Cat 5e cables:
      Hyperoptic review on TBB

      Why install copper for the last 100 metres? I’m not sure, I’d have thought it would cost the same amount to install either. Perhaps it is because copper can withstand harsher treatment during installation in a place that wasn’t built for fibre from day one (ie no BFT ducting). I also guess copper doesn’t require an active NTE for each customer.

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