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ISP Brsk Secure £178m Funding Boost for UK Full Fibre Rollout

Tuesday, Sep 13th, 2022 (9:47 am) - Score 4,256
Brsk Back of Engineers Van

Network builder and UK ISP Brsk has today secured a huge funding boost of “up to” £178m to help fuel the ongoing rollout of their new open access and gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network, which has so far focused upon parts of Greater Manchester, Lancashire, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

Brsk first began their rollout – during early 2021 – in the village of Cottingley, although they’ve since expanded out to start upgrading the towns of Keighley and Bingley, as well as Clayton, Allerton & Sandy Lane, Heaton & Daisy Hill, Burnley, Padiham, Bradford, Queensbury, Thornton, Accrington and many more.

NOTE: Brsk was originally supported by private equity firm Advencap.

The pace of build has also been ramping-up in recent months. For example, back in April 2022 the operator claimed to have covered 27,000 homes (early take-up rate of 10%), which by August 2022 had increased to 60,000 premises and today’s announcement reveals that they’ve added another 10,000 homes and businesses (total of 70,000 passed).

In short, the operator currently has a strong monthly build rate of over 10,000 premises passed, and they’re planning to double that rate again in the “near term“. As part of that effort, they’ve today secured a £103m debt investment from funds managed by Ares Management Corporation’s (“Ares”) Infrastructure Debt strategy. The new funding is able to be upsized to £178 million over time to support future growth.

Giorgio Iovino, co-Founder of Brsk, said:

“We are delighted to welcome Ares as our new financing partner. This financing comes at an important time as we continue to invest in ramping up our build rate to expand our network and achieve our goal of 1 million premises passed. People in the UK have suffered from poor broadband for too long. We will continue to upgrade areas that are reliant on outdated copper connectivity and deliver full fibre broadband with an outstanding customer experience.”

James Fox, MD of Infrastructure Debt at Ares, said:

“We have been impressed by the experience of the Brsk management team and share their enthusiasm for improving digital connectivity across the UK. We are proud to be partnering with Giorgio, Ian and the team in delivering gigabit broadband to communities across the regions.”

It continues to amaze us that so many alternative network (AltNet) start-ups in this sector have managed to make such progress in the market and attract such an impressive level of funding. Clearly, Brsk’s investors have plenty of confidence in the operator’s future potential, otherwise deals like this simply would not come to pass.

Prices typically start from £25 per month for an unlimited 100Mbps symmetric speed package (inc. a free installation and router), which rises to £45 for their top 900Mbps package. In addition, there’s also a “guarantee” of “no price rises” during that term. The pricing is aggressively competitive and clearly designed to help peel customers away from established networks and ISPs.

Brsk’s deal was advised by Greenhill & Co and supported by Sullivan & Cromwell LLP as legal advisor. Ares was supported by Norton Rose Fulbright LLP as legal advisor.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
5 Responses
  1. Avatar photo arundel says:

    “Up to” 178M but they might only get 30M depending on the quality of their funding line

    1. Avatar photo SWaddy says:

      Poor headline but in the article is does say they’ve secured £103M of Debt which can raise up to £178M

    2. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The reality of most funding announcements is that they’re often “up to” style commitments, but most of the network operators won’t mention this. It’s not like they get all the money on day 1, it’s often performance based releases. That is fairly normal.

    3. Avatar photo John says:

      There are people who believe that when govt announces they are giving x amount to the holy church of the NHS that all problems are instantly solved and all people with conditions are healed rather than figuring out how funding works

  2. Avatar photo Mark Smith says:

    Might explain why the build of their network has been on hold for a while near me in Bradford…

Comments are closed

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