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Broadband ISP Zzoomm Get £100m Oaktree UK Full Fibre Boost

Monday, September 28th, 2020 (9:11 am) - Score 2,520
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Alternative UK ISP Zzoomm, which holds an ambition to cover 1 million UK homes with a 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network by the end of 2025 (here), has today secured £100 million from Oaktree Capital Management to fuel its future expansion.

The provider, which was setup by Gigaclear’s former founder Matthew Hare and is using ADTRAN’s XGS-PON technology, began their first rollout to 6,800 premises in the Oxfordshire town of Henley-on-Thames last September 2019 via their own in-house team of locally sourced field engineers (here).

Work on the Henley build is now nearing completion (due by the end of 2020) and as a result Zzoomm have been preparing their future deployment plan. The provider has talked about having a strategy of targeting smaller cities and towns like Hastings, Amersham, Weymouth and Huntingdon, as well as the suburbs of larger cities (e.g. London and Birmingham), which often follow later in the rollout plans for larger rivals.

Obviously, a larger deployment will require significantly more funding and that’s why today’s announcement is so important. As a result, the provider have been able to raise an “initial£100m of equity from funds managed by Oaktree.

Matthew Hare, Zzoomm’s CEO, said:

“This investment from Oaktree is a clear endorsement of the ability of our experienced management team to deliver what customers want, on budget and on time.

Life’s too short for bad broadband. The lockdown has accelerated the change in working habits and boosted the demand for online entertainment and learning. Zzoomm has demonstrated that the unmet need for better broadband is satisfied by Full Fibre, and the need for this new infrastructure exists across the UK.

Our fast, robust service satisfies this demand. Residents and businesses across Henley-on-Thames love the difference that Zzoomm delivers to their lives.

We are targeting market towns that are currently stuck with the pedestrian speeds delivered over ancient copper cables.

This funding from Oaktree will enable us to bring our transformational services to many more homes and businesses, making sure that the UK is Zzoomming onwards.”

Pablo Velez, Managing Director at Oaktree, said:

“We are excited to partner with Matthew and the team of experienced industry professionals he has assembled to accelerate Zzoomm’s growth. Zzoomm’s wholly-owned, 100% fibre-optic, last-mile network provides the homes and businesses it serves with the critical infrastructure required to deliver the fastest, most reliable connectivity available in the UK today.

We look forward to leveraging our operating expertise and experience with growth platforms to support the team as they deliver on their twin passions for providing great quality customer service and building a valuable infrastructure-backed business.”

How far this new investment goes will depend upon a lot of highly variable factors, although if we were to assume a per premises build cost of around £600 then you might expect to get back over 160,000 premises for that level of funding (note: costs then rise disproportionately as operators move to target more rural areas). But this doesn’t consider other costs, such as support, office, datacentres etc.

On top of that we suspect that Zzoomm will no doubt seek to harness the Government’s variable rural gigabit broadband voucher schemes, which further changes the aforementioned estimate. In any case, we look forward to seeing where the ISP plans to build next.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar Jake says:

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to have a 10Gbit line, in your house!
    i mean most work places with hundreds of people don’t have that. We have 2gbit at work for 200 people !!!

    mind you what would you do with 10Gbit? You will be unlikely to be able to get full bandwidth from anyone. Still I do wish they’d even just offer it to me. I’m on one of those areas that was announced they’ll build openreach FTTP, but every time you check it says we have no plans to fibre up your area .. so I’m not super confident it will happen.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Of course you’d have the choice to take a slower and cheaper package, but if you’re putting new kit in today then it makes sense to build-in support for future needs.

    2. Avatar Rob says:

      So I’ve got a 5.5Gbit line to the home (leased line of course and over a 10Gbit bearer), and I can tell you I couldn’t live without it now.

      Although there’s only 2 of us in the home, it allowed me to move all my physical home lab & storage infrastructure to the “cloud” (dedicated physical server leases @ OVH to be precise). I pay for the guaranteed bandwidth options at OVH, so can easily saturate the link as it’s used for all the remote storage.
      At first I was worried about doing NFS etc over the internet, but it turned out to have awesome performance.

      I also rent out part of the connection to the neighbours. We’re in rural Basingstoke where VDSL gets them around 20Mbit.
      So with some Ubiquiti LTU/Airmax ACs I’ve effectively become a wireless ISP to 18 neighbors in the village that “signed up”, giving them ~100Mbit (burstable to 250Mbit depending on conditions/usage), VOIP/SIP phone and Freeview done over IPTV (the signal isn’t that great here!). £25 a month they pay.

      The leased line installation was free under the old Gigabit voucher scheme and the monthly payments they make cover most of the leased line costs.

  2. Avatar Richard Hancock says:

    Just looked at the Z*oom* website, out of idle curiosity, and they show 4 packages from 100Mbps to 2Gbps for £29 to £99 per month. I currently get 80Mbps (and 20Mbps up) on VDSL for £23 per month.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      You don’t get 80Mbps on VDSL, nobody does – that’s just the profile speed, you’ll at best get close to that in the 70s but most people on that profile get a lot less due to signal degradation and the copper isn’t as reliable. It also costs more to build into the areas they’re targeting, so they have to make money somewhere.

      Part of the difficulty with getting better broadband in this country is the wider focus on a race to the bottom with pricing.

  3. Avatar Atif Ullah says:

    Thats great… We are implememting 10G and more through broadband Microwaves to customers which supports 100s of users simultaneously. FTTH to homes is very reliable and good with passive network equipments with good speed to customers…

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