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ITS Technology Get GBP100m Funding for UK Full Fibre Rollout

Monday, April 25th, 2022 (8:31 am) - Score 1,632
ITS Technology engineer full fibre

The ITS Technology Group (its.) has this morning announced that they’ve secured a further investment of £100m from existing backers at Aviva Investors, which will be used to continue and “accelerate” their existing rollout of “full fibre” broadband and Ethernet services (FTTP, Leased Lines etc.) across more of the United Kingdom.

At present ITS, which in 2020 secured a funding boost of £45m from Aviva Investors (here), operates a number of fibre optic and hybrid wireless broadband networks across parts of the UK (usually via wholesale). The operator has long spoken of existing plans to cover 200,000 additional homes and businesses, although they haven’t generally released much in the way of detail or timescales.

NOTE: ITS say they’re using XGS-PON fibre technology “across its networks” to help remotely scale and flex its service offering from basic broadband all the way to 10Gbps Ethernet leased lines.

The operator continues to be more focused upon the business connectivity market, but some of their networks – most of which are built under the ‘Faster Britain‘ branding – do include residential properties. As a result, there are a few areas where ISPs on their networks can reach nearby homes (e.g. Yayzi Broadband in Blackpool, Lancashire).

According to today’s announcement, ITS are currently on-track to pass 25% of UK business premises by the end of 2022, although they haven’t revealed any new build targets or timescales. We’re also unclear of how many premises have been passed by their network, although they claim to have “significantly increased” their network footprint.

Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS, said:

“I am delighted to extend our partnership with Aviva Investors. We have made significant progress over the last two years, building a highly skilled team, scalable delivery capabilities, and creating a substantial full fibre footprint. This further commitment will enable us to continue to rollout our open access wholesale digital infrastructure at pace, giving more businesses access to the connectivity solutions they need to underpin their operations.

ITS can now connect any business in the UK via our partnerships with key operators and using our own Faster Britain networks which we are continuing to build out across business dense locations in major towns and cities. We have also invested heavily in developing the systems that allow our partners to easily access high quality full fibre connectivity through our wholesale platform.”

Sean McLachlan, Senior Director of Infrastructure at Aviva Investors, said:

“We are very pleased to continue our relationship with ITS and to support the extended rollout of its fibre networks across the UK. There has been a huge structural shift in data usage in recent years which continues to accelerate, and the continued investment in digital connectivity is fundamental to supporting how society functions today and tomorrow.

ITS has made significant progress and outlined a clear vision to address this need. Combined with a strong team and expertise, we think this presents a compelling investment opportunity and look forward to working in partnership with them.”

At present you can find ITS’ networks in locations such as Scunthorpe, Greenwich (London), Blackpool, Bristol, Hammersmith and Fulham, Tameside and Nottingham, Lincoln, Chorley in Lancashire, and Stockport, Heaton Mersey and Heaton Moor in Greater Manchester, Accrington and Blackburn in Lancashire, Birmingham, Newark on Trent in the Midlands, and Burton upon Trent in neighbouring Derbyshire (some parts of the latter are in-build now).

Like a lot of modern alternative network providers, ITS try to reuse as much existing infrastructure as possible to run their new fibre (e.g. Openreach PIA, council owned cable ducts etc.) via a “dig once” strategy, which reduces the need for road digs and general disruption by other civil engineering tasks.

Finally, ITS’ Faster Britain partner programme is now home to more than 300 Reseller, Internet Service Provider (ISP), and Managed Service Provider (MSP) partners, which can access and provide their gigabit-capable connectivity to end-users. The company has also tripled its revenues’ year-on-year, and was EBITDA positive in FY21.

Dow Schofield Watts acted as sole financial advisor on today’s transaction, while RSM were the tax advisors, and BDB Pitmans LLP provided legal advice.

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. David says:

    They’ve had £45M of investment to date which presumably is spent/committed if they need more investment.

    They have a turnover of less than £10M yet have over 300 wholesale partners.

    Let’s take the 25% of all UK business premises claim by end of 2022. That’s 800,000 premises (3.22M total on UK gov stats). £45M doesn’t get you that far with fibre. If they only just got the additional £100M you can’t build that quickly in 8 months.

    Could they be doing this with wireless instead? Throw up a few 5Ghz antenna and claim whole areas covered?

    Something doesn’t add up here!

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Possibly a reference to on-demand style availability, which requires more PoPs.

  2. 5G Infinity says:

    Re 25% it’s businesses passed, so that could be business parks or just by using using fibre from a partner that can be backhauled onto their own network somewhere upstream. There focus is wholesale, witness the Liverpool contract.

    Mark

    Re premises, they stopped residential at end of 2019 when they received first tranche of Aviva investment.

    1. Terry says:

      They accelerated residential in 2021 in Blackpool.

  3. Matt says:

    Just a note mark, Burton (upon/on) Trent is in Staffordshire, not Derbyshire. It’s on the Staffs/Derbys border though.

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