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Hyperoptic Raise £100m and Target 1Gbps Broadband for 5 Million UK Homes

Friday, July 28th, 2017 (12:01 am) - Score 2,795
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Ultrafast fibre optic ISP Hyperoptic has announced that their 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP/B) broadband network, which is available across parts of 28 UK cities and towns, now covers 350,000 homes and they’ve raised another £100m to boost the roll-out. Next stop.. 5 million homes by 2025!

It’s sometimes easy to forget that Hyperoptic was originally setup all the way back in 2011 by the team behind another popular ISP (BE Broadband), which occurred at a time when true fibre optic connectivity was still a pipe dream for most of the United Kingdom. Indeed back then most of the country couldn’t even access a “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) service, let alone the dizzy heights of 1000Mbps.

Nevertheless the ISP was able to succeed by finding a strong niche that focused on connecting their Fibre-to-the-Building / Premises (FTTB/P) network to larger residential (i.e. Multi-Dwelling Units with at least 50 units) and office buildings in dense urban areas, with the first going live around central London. Since then they’ve also expanded into some large social housing and new build home developments.

Until today Hyperoptic had previously managed to attract investment worth around £75 million from various private partners and banks, which includes a £21m 8-year loan from the European Investment Bank and around £50m from Quantum Strategic Partners.

As a result of that the ISP quickly grew to reach 35,000 premises passed in February 2014, then 75,000 in October 2014 and 100,000 in February 2015. Until today we haven’t had any solid updates on their progress, although we’ve long been told that their target was to reach 500,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2019 (revised from their original 2018 date) and at 350,000 they now seem certain to achieve this.

By comparison the latest injection of £100m stems from a consortium of four major European banks (BNP Paribas, ING, RBS and Dutch investment bank NIBC), which is being managed by LionTree Advisors. The ISP claims that this funding will help to support their “ambitious plan” to cover 2 million urban homes by 2022 and then 5 million by 2025.

Dana Tobak, CEO of Hyperoptic, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We are proud to have created a network of gigabit cities where residents can live and work without connectivity constraints. Through private funding and partnerships with developers, freeholders, and councils we have hugely increased our footprint – but it’s our customers that have been the biggest catalyst in fuelling our growth.

We have a 4* Trustpilot rating; the highest in the industry. Our customers have really supported us by sharing their experiences with their neighbours, family and friends, which has meant that we have been able to expedite our rollouts 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.”

The ISP claims that the new funding will enable them to “exponentially expand [their] coverage, to consumers and businesses that have been left neglected by the big players like BT.” Openreach is currently consulting on a new plan that could see their own FTTP network expanded, possibly up to 10 million premises by around 2025 (here), and today’s announcement will surely add another competitive dynamic to their thoughts (NOTE: Openreach’s own 1Gbps products are significantly more expensive than Hyperoptic’s). Lest we forget that Virgin Media’s DOCSIS 3.1 upgrade may also push Gigabit speeds into urban areas.

In order to support the proposed expansion, Hyperoptic has hinted that it may harness some of the Government’s new £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (here) and they also intend to target smaller apartment blocks with just 25 units or more (they may also be able to do even smaller buildings, provided the demand exists and it’s close enough to their fibre optic network).

Andrew Jones, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said:

“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. We’re investing over £1 billion in next generation digital communications, including our recently launched £400 million 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 Analyst at Ovum, said:

“It is clear that Hyperoptic has impressed customers in 28 cities across the UK with its symmetrical 100Mbps and 1Gbps broadband services and has rapidly established itself as a leading broadband provider in the nation’s biggest cities. The additional £100 million 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.”

The huge announcement comes only a couple of weeks after Cityfibre raised an additional £200m of their own and announced a plan to make their 1Gbps FTTP network available to as many as 1 million homes in up to 10 UK cities and towns, with work starting in 2018 (here).

However it’s worth pointing out that Hyperoptic will also need to raise more funding in order to achieve their longer-term ambitions, although there seems to be plenty of appetite from investors. Competition like this can become a significant driver of future progress, at least with regards to encouraging more “full fibre” and less “part fibre” (hybrid fibre) in urban areas.

Hyperoptic’s 28 UK Cities and Towns
Greater London
Basildon
Birmingham
Bolton
Bradford
Brighton
Bristol
Cardiff
Coventry
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Leeds
Leicester
Liverpool
Luton
Manchester
Newcastle
Nottingham
Preston
Reading
Reigate
Sheffield
Slough
Southamption
Southend-on-Sea
Warrington
Watford
Woking

* More will no doubt be added to this over the next few years.

Customers are able to choose from either a broadband and phone bundle or a broadband-only service on a 12 month contract (the latter attracts a £40 one-off connection fee). You can also get a “no contract” option of both, although this usually costs an extra +£2-£4 per month.

All of Hyperoptic’s packages include unlimited usage, 24/7 support, an included wireless router and a dynamic IP address (CGNAT) or £5 for a Static IP.

Bundles

20Mb Fibre Broadband & Phone
Price: £20 a month for 12 months (£25 thereafter)

100Mb Fibre Broadband & Phone
Price: £27 a month for 12 months (£38 thereafter)

1Gb Fibre Broadband & Phone
Price: £48 a month for 12 months (£63 thereafter)

Standalone

20Mb Fibre Broadband Only
Price: £19 a month for 12 months (£22 thereafter)

100Mb Fibre Broadband Only
Price: £26 a month for 12 months (£35 thereafter)

1Gb Fibre Broadband Only
Price: £47 a month for 12 months (£60 thereafter)

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar spurple

    Since I don’t live in a flat, I can only wave them on and wish them the best.

  2. Avatar adslmax Real

    Will be brilliant news if it ever come to Telford and will dump Openreach expensive FTTPoD or G.Fast

  3. Avatar FibreFred

    The reason it is easy to forget them is that most people don’t live in mdu’s

    • Is it easy to forget Hyperoptic? Certainly not on these pages and elsewhere. The 2nd paragraph says it’s easy to forget that they started in 2011 and not to forget the ISP itself – you may have misread.

      True, most UK people don’t live in MDUs, but millions of others do (especially in cities / large towns) and so it’s by no means a small group we’re talking about. I think the UK has one of the lowest level of flat dwellings in the EU but it’s still somewhere around 25% of all dwellings.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      I did misread 😉 or not read enough actually.

  4. Avatar Bill

    What would be good is if Hyperoptic and similar providers started offering their own version of FTTPoD, within their fibre areas.

  5. Avatar JAH

    I contacted Hyperoptic some time ago and asked if there was a chance they would ever come near the South Wales valleys where it’s predominately terraced houses. I was told “Watch this space”. I’d love to see them here. There’s currently no competition for BT.

    • Avatar CarlT

      I wouldn’t hold your breath. Chances are between slim and none there.

    • Avatar Simon

      Contact the guy at Rural Broadband. If you can get 75 houses together he will roll it out – he does not care for BT or anyone else.

  6. Avatar Bob2002

    Always great to hear about smaller players having success and fighting the good fight for fibre.

  7. Avatar FibreLess

    I contacted Hyperoptic months ago for our new development.
    250+ new homes in Reading, their network is less than a mile away at a block of flats and we have no other fibre options at all. They likely would have scooped up the whole development. Unfortunately my efforts never went anywhere.

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