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Fibrus Covers 300,000 UK Premises with Full Fibre and Tops 50k Customers

Wednesday, Aug 30th, 2023 (11:40 am) - Score 2,464
Fibrus Digger Trenching Soft Verge

Infracapital-backed ISP Fibrus, which is rolling out a new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network across Northern Ireland and the North of England, has today revealed that their network now covers 300,000 premises (up from 250k in March) and is home to 50,000 customers (up from 36,000).

Just to clarify that coverage figure a bit. Fibrus might have built to 300,000 premises, but at present only 273,000 of those premises are considered to be in a Ready for Service (RFS) state. Given the 50,000 customers figure released today, this means that Fibrus has a respectable 18.32% take-up rate on that RFS coverage figure (Fibrus officially puts it at 19%, which is up from 15% in March).

NOTE: Fibrus has attracted over £750m of committed capital, including £235m from investors, £220m from a banking consortium and the rest as public subsidy (e.g. £197m Project Stratum – 85,000 premises by March 2025 in N.Ireland – and the £108m Project Gigabit contract for 60,000 premises in Cumbria, England – Hyperfast GB).

The operator aims to cover 1 million premises over the next 3 years (by Q1 2026) – reflecting around 450,000 in N.Ireland (c. 50% of homes in the region) and the rest from England and Scotland. A total of 400,000 UK premises are currently expected to be covered by March 2024 (i.e. 150,000 in a single year).

In order to fund this continued expansion, the company this week received an additional £35m tranche of equity funding from its shareholder Infracapital, bringing its total investment in Fibrus to £150m.

Colin Hutchinson, Fibrus Chief Revenue and Finance Officer, said:

“Connecting 50,000 customers is an important milestone in our mission to bring Full Fibre broadband to homes and businesses to rural and regional areas of the UK. It shows the momentum we are building in the market, having tripled our customer base in just one year. Our journey has become synonymous with bringing Full Fibre broadband to every corner of Northern Ireland, and our growth is accelerating as we continue our rollout and build our brand in northern England.

We recently launched a new Total Home Wi-Fi product, teaming up with eero, an Amazon company, to guarantee customers coverage in every room of the house. A new brand campaign features the Total Home Wi-Fi guarantee as one of three pillars of our value proposition, along with guaranteed speeds and our promise to never raise prices mid-contract.”

Fibrus also notes that, earlier this year, the first homes in the UK’s first regional Project Gigabit procurement in Cumbria were connected in Aspatria with customer penetration exceeding 20% within one month of launch. The provider has also confirmed that it is planning to raise further equity and debt to fund its #R21M (road to one million) plan which also includes more Project Gigabit contracts.

Customers of Fibrus typically pay from £24.99 (discounted to £19.99) per month for an unlimited 146Mbps (30Mbps upload) package with an included eero 6+ or eero Pro 6E router and free installation, which rises to £44.99 (discounted to £39.99) per month for their top 946Mbps (300Mbps upload) tier on a 24-month contract term. The service discounts may vary between different parts of their build.

NOTE: Infracapital also owns or has stakes in Gigaclear, Ogi, Neos Networks and WightFibre etc.
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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
6 Responses
  1. Avatar photo John says:

    The serviceable number looks accurate but the customer number seems very inflated

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Why, John? A lot of their areas are pretty rural and you’d expect higher take up there than in highly competitive urban areas.

    2. Avatar photo John says:

      Trustpilot reviews are pretty accurate with most providers

  2. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

    They appear to be using PIA, so they’ll have rental charges as part of their operational costs. It makes me wonder what the situation with PIA will be in years to come, since Openreach manage the infrastructure, but BT actually own it including the wayleaves. Currently the rental increases are limited/regulated to CPI, but will that always be the case? Any future PIA price increases will be dependent on Openreach and BT keeping their costs down, and OFCOM having the power to regulate rental charges. BT may eventually sell off part or all of Openreach, but still own the ducts and poles, so it must add a level of uncertainty for PIA users where they may have to deal with two different entities under those circumstances.

    1. Avatar photo Bob says:

      If Openreach were to be sold off I would expect the Ducts and poles to be part of the deal. To not do so would not make any sense

      Openreach/BT would in most cases also face competition from no PIA Alt nets which would be a constraint on BT/Openreach pricing

    2. Avatar photo Ex Telecom Engineer says:

      Not necessarily. Infrastructure is worth money in its own right, and the valuation of Openreach would be based on revenue earned for managing the various Fibre Networks using BT infrastructure; BT would probably guarantee a long term term management contract, to pump up the valuation, at the point of sale. BT also own all the Fibre currently being installed by Openreach, and that will always be owned by BT irrespective of whether they package Openreach together with ducts and poles.
      If BT do eventually decide to IPO or sell Openreach, they wont necessarily sell the infrastructure with it, they’ll likely sell them as separate entities, or keep hold of the infrastructure. Once Openreach is free of BT, nothing stops them bidding for management of other Altnet infrastructure, meaning they could have growth potential beyond their current business, and possibly justifying a higher valuation.

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