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ISP Trooli Secures Nearly £27m for UK Full Fibre Broadband Rollout

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 (10:53 am) - Score 2,844
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Alternative full fibre UK ISP Trooli has today secured around £26.6 million (€30m) of funding from European investors, which they say will help them to start building a new Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to 500,000 premises across the South East of England within 5 years.

The ISP, which is the offspring of Call Flow Solutions and was founded by ex-BT executive Andy Conibere, launched exactly one year ago (here). At the time they had only just completed deployments to two rural towns in Kent and covered 5,000 premises (i.e. Paddock Wood and King’s Hill in West Malling).

NOTE: Call Flow has built FTTC and fixed wireless networks passing over 12,000 premises and operates in parts of Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and East Sussex.

Back then the provider said they had enough money to reach a further 10 towns within the next 12 months (potential coverage of around 26,000 premises) and were passing 1,000 per month. By comparison today’s announcement states that Trooli has so far covered 6,000 premises (well short of the expectation), but thanks to this funding they’re now able to ramp-up their rollout to a larger patch of small towns across the South East.

The goal seems to be to cover 500,000 premises by around the end of 2024. Trooli were also one of the first in the UK to deploy ADTRAN’s new 10Gbps FTTP equipment (XGSPON), although other full fibre ISPs have since started to do the same. They’ve also been making some use of Openreach’s (BT) existing cable ducts via the revised Physical Infrastructure Access (PIA) product.

Ashley Atkins, CFO of Trooli, said:

“There is an urgent need for the higher broadband speeds and more reliable services that only true fibre offers over copper alternatives, particularly in small towns where internet users feel left behind. This investment will enable us to ramp up our build rate and use our rapid deployment method to meet this demand with our ultra-fast broadband services.”

At present Trooli’s packages tend to cost from £50 inc. VAT per month for an unlimited 300Mbps service and this rises to £80 for 900Mbps+ (one-off installation charges range from £80 for self-install to £120 for a Trooli install). However £26.6m will only be enough to get them started and they’ll need to raise significantly more investment to achieve their ambition of 500,000 premises (we’d guess £300m+ given the areas they’re looking at).

On top of that the ISP will face competition from the rising number of rival full fibre builders, although admittedly their decision to focus upon small towns may give them an initial advantage (most of the larger players are currently battling over much more commercially attractive cities and large towns). Eventually those guys will start to focus on smaller towns too but probably not for awhile (enough time for Trooli to potentially build a first mover advantage).

So far their FTTP network has reached Kings Hill, Paddock Wood and Hawking in Kent, as well as Ropley and Bramdean in Hampshire. Call Flow added that their deal for Trooli was advised by Marcus Allchurch at Acuity Advisors.

UPDATE 1:32pm

We suspected that the reason why Trooli didn’t deliver on the promised 26,000 premises, as originally planned, is because they might have been affected by the new Finance Act 2018, which introduced some changes to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) scheme and this could have initially disqualified them from a useful tax relief (B4RN was impacted by this too but for a different reason).

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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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13 Responses
  1. Avatar CarlT

    Seems a lot of cash but even cherry picking easy areas it’s only 53,000 premises. In small towns less straightforward it’s fewer still.

    Means the world for those fortunate enough to be passed by the network though.

  2. Avatar IanS

    Anyone living between Leeds and Edinburgh is a bit stuffed with the FTTP rollouts.

    • Avatar CarlT

      Harrogate’s in good shape in the not too distant. York’s alright too.

    • Avatar IanS

      Not really far from leeds and doesnt explain the massive gap though.

    • Avatar CarlT

      I would imagine population density, availability of staff and contractors and other factors would account for some of it. Virgin Media have been carrying out network expansions involving FTTP and where they are building heavily they’ve consumed much of the available resource. CityFibre here have had to wait until VM had slowed.

    • Avatar Badem

      @CarlT
      Indeed several areas around York are looking bright for the future and the proof of concept in York has helped pay off, look at Upper Poppleton and you can see how feasible filling in those gaps between York and Harrogate could look.

  3. Avatar Aaron

    £80 to install equipment yourself, ouch

    • Avatar Spurple

      The equipment isn’t free of charge, and they are in no mood to discount it like more established players tend to do.

    • Avatar Badem

      @Spurple

      the £80 charge is to cover the engineer cost to dig in the Fibre between the boundary and the wall and then install the ONT I would have thought? self install would then cover setting up the router and internals by yourself?

  4. Avatar tim

    Good news for those that will get this service.

    Sadly it is more rural areas that are still being over looked. What Kent really needs is B4RN that will build fibre to those that will never get anything otherwise.

  5. Avatar 5G Infinity

    Any idea how many homes passed/connected in Ropley and Bramdean, both are villages?

  6. Avatar Duncan

    Hopefully they may pick up areas ignored by VM in their latest expansion. These tend to lie in villages just outside major towns, not small towns which has been suggested here. I long for decent broadband and I’m in Kent so fingers crossed!

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