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Full Fibre Ltd to Rollout FTTP Broadband to 500k UK Premises

Monday, December 21st, 2020 (5:10 pm) - Score 9,840
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Network provider Full Fibre Limited, which last year started building a new 1Gbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based broadband ISP network in various “rural and semi-urban areas” (here), has secured a financing deal with Basalt Infrastructure Partners that will enable them to cover “at least” 500,000 UK premises by 2025.

The provider, which operates its network as a wholesale platform via iNeedFibre for other UK ISPs to harness (e.g. SWS, HFL Broadband, Connect Me to 2 Full Fibre, ANLX, Air Broadband, Cloud Wireless and fibrehop), has already started to go live across thousands of premises in locations such as Leominster (Fastershire project), Ivybridge and South Hams.

The focus has generally been on counties such as Devon, Surrey, Somerset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in England. Today’s announcement will see the operator continue its focus on “forgotten market towns” and areas, initially in the West Midlands, Central and South West of England, that might otherwise be left behind by the national FTTP rollout (i.e. those with between 5,000 and 40,000 premises).

The deal means that Basalt, which is a multi-billion dollar infrastructure investment fund, takes a majority interest in Full Fibre Ltd and will provide both capital investment and additional management expertise. Sadly, we aren’t told precisely how much investment is likely to be raised through this, although the target suggests a figure in the hundreds of millions.

Oliver Helm, Full Fibre CEO, said:

“Full Fibre’s mission has always been to deliver pure fibre, wholesale only networks to underserved market towns. The current environment has highlighted more than ever the need for gigabit capable fibre broadband to be available as standard, and we are delighted to work with Basalt to accelerate this rollout, fueled further by the strengthening of our management team.

The regulator has been clear that a competitive market for consumers is vital, and the simple presence of a new infrastructure may not be sufficient to deliver this. It is vital that new infrastructure provides a competitive wholesale market to consumers, giving them the ability to move their purchasing power in search of quality, price and service.

Our Wholesale Only, Fibre Only approach provides a future proofed, competitive marketplace to both ISPs and consumers, that is key to unlocking the technology-lead, flexible working economy. As we invest millions of pounds into these market towns, our new fibre infrastructure will help to revitalise businesses, drive economic growth and unlock social mobility where traditional copper services have frustrated progress.”

Steven Lowry, Partner of Basalt Infrastructure Partners LLP, said:

“We are pleased to have acquired Full Fibre through a bilateral acquisition process and to support the company’s business plan through further capital investment. We look forward to working closely with the management team to accelerate the delivery of reliable, wholesale, and high speed FTTP services to underserved market towns in the West Midlands, Central and South West of England.”

The operator now plans to extend their FTTP broadband network to cover 100,000 premises by the end of 2021 and then at least 500,000 by 2025. ISPreview.co.uk understands that the first wave of towns under this new deployment will be announced early in 2021 and we will of course reveal that once it’s made public.

Otherwise, residential customers on this network tend to pay from about £30 per month for a 50Mbps service and that goes up to £80 for 330Mbps. The latter is quite expensive but then some of the areas being targeted are the sort that would be fairly expensive for a commercial operator to reach anyway, which is reflected in the price you pay.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar SFP says:

    How many premises did the network they actually bought pass?

    How much did they pay?

    This seems a speculative investment in the hope that Liberty Global or someone else acquires them.

  2. Avatar Bob says:

    Surely they are building in areas covered by other Altnets Zzoomm, Gigaclear, jurassic. How are they going to get 500,000 in these areas?

  3. Avatar Peach says:

    There shouldn’t be any part of the country left behind with all these altnets building to so many premises

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