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Broadband ISP Solway Communications Acquired by Voneus UK

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 (8:34 am) - Score 1,104
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Fixed wireless broadband ISP Solway Communications, which has built its network across parts of Cumbria (England) and recently began deploying some limited Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) infrastructure again, has today become the latest in a long line of internet providers to be acquired by Voneus for an undisclosed sum.

Voneus itself, which started as a wireless ISP but now holds a “near term” target to connect 100,000 rural UK homes to their new FTTP network (here), is currently being fuelled by a big investment from Macquarie Capital (MC). Back in 2019 the ISP secured an initial £10m from MC, which included the potential to invest up to £30m – MC has since taken a majority shareholding in the UK rural broadband business (here).

NOTE: Macquarie also owns UK ISPs KCOM (here) and Wavenet (here).

Since then, much of Voneus’ growth over the past 1-2 years has come from a string of acquisitions, and Solway are the latest prize. As a result, Voneus currently serves parts of over 22 counties across England and Wales, with Solway adding more locations across Cumbria and the North of England to that.

Under the deal, Voneus said they intend to develop and extend the Solway network and service, continuing to provide fast and reliable broadband connections. “Solway customers connections will be unaffected by this transaction, and it will be business as usual,” added the new owner.

Nicholas Kittoe, Solway’s Co-Founder, said:

“We are proud to have built and grown a business that has genuinely improved the lives of people and businesses in our region. We are pleased that a growing business like Voneus will take over Solway Communications, and would like to reassure all customers that fast, reliable connections, with high levels of customer service, will continue.”

Ilan Scorah, Strategy Director of Voneus, said:

“We are really pleased to complete this acquisition. It provides us with a great opportunity to extend our coverage in Cumbria from our initial acquisition of LonsdaleNet in the Penrith area.”

Such deals will help Voneus to continue growing some scale and should also provide them with a new set of customers, some of which may in the near future benefit from a migration to their FTTP network.

Additionally, the announcement points out that, in 2016, Solway founded Grain Connect Limited to create fibre optic networks in new and existing residential developments. “Grain has subsequently raised substantial funding and continues to grow rapidly as a national broadband provider, building fibre-optic networks from the North of Scotland to England’s South Coast,” added the release. But we should point out that Grain is now independent of Solway and being funded by Albion Capital and Equitix (here).

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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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