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London Full Fibre Broadband ISP G.Network Hunting for a Buyer

Thursday, Jul 11th, 2024 (12:54 pm) - Score 3,560
gnetworks engineers

Alternative network operator G.Network, which has spent the past few years building a gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband ISP network across parts of central London (here), has reportedly engaged investment bankers at Nomura and Jefferies as advisers to help it explore the potential of a future sale.

The news follows shortly after the operator secured an additional investment of £85m from long term equity investor USS to support their “next phase of growth“ (here), which itself was on top of last year’s commitment by the same investor for “up to an additional£150m (here).

NOTE: The company’s last accounts to March 2023 (here) said they had covered a total of 330k “connectable premises“, but an independent estimate in Jan 2024 put them closer to 248k (here).

However, despite the funding boost, G.Network only recently resumed their build programme after a long pause and job cuts (here). Many other network operators have suffered similar issues, partly due to high interest rates, rising build costs and an aggressively competitive environment – particularly in urban areas – that can make it harder to grow take-up.

According to a new report on Sky News, G.Network, which has itself declined to comment, are allegedly considering a sale (it’s not the first time we’ve heard of such discussions). Both CityFibre and CommunityFibre are among those that are said to have expressed an interest in acquiring the operator, although CommunityFibre have had plenty of their own problems (here and here) and would be taking on a much bigger risk if they won a bid.

At the end of last month the operator claimed that their business was “performing well and successfully executing against its strategic plan of creating a better-connected London, delivering improvements in revenues, productivity and customer service“. 

Residential customers of G.Network typically pay from £19 per month for a 150Mbps (50Mbps upload) service on a 24-month term with free installation (£24 thereafter), which rises to £30 for their top 900Mbps plan (£35 thereafter). Shorter 12 and 1 month contracts are also available, albeit at extra cost, and a symmetric speed 900Mbps plan also exists.

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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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20 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Ed says:

    And there goes another one! Considering how difficult building in central London can be, though, I don’t think there will be little interest in buying them up.

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      Looking at the Think Broadband maps they seem mainly to be concentrated towards Central London with Community Fibre being a little further out although there seems to be quite a bit of overbuild between them. The one place CityFibre (despite its name) has very little presence is London so it may be a good way for them to get their foot in the door.

  2. Avatar photo plunet says:

    I think they have realised just how tricky London is… The highway pavements are already super congested and getting permits to close roads and pavements with all the associated traffic management analysis is complicated. But there is a lot of low hanging fruit if they can get the businesses or residents to sign up as many of those areas are super historic phone lines direct from the exchange especially in Mayfair and Bloomsbury with ADSL only offered in many postcodes on OpenReach.

    1. Avatar photo Jonny says:

      My limited exposure to G.Network is that they are very good at doing the expensive bit (digging the roads up to install ducts) and absolutely awful at putting fibre cables into the ducts to then sell a service over, and not much better at being an ISP once they’ve managed to put the cables in.

      It would be a good fit for CityFibre as it’s a London-wide duct network that’s practically brand new.

  3. Avatar photo Peter says:

    The buyer will pick up G.Network cheap. Common knowledge across the industry that lots of value in the business has been destroyed in the last couple of years. Only reason to hold off bidding for it now is that it’s likely to get cheaper.

    1. Avatar photo Ben dover says:

      Because ?

    2. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Totally, should of sold 3-4 years ago when it was clear that they were not even in the same leauge as hyperoptic or Community fibre despite having a much higher cost base.

  4. Avatar photo Jason says:

    Not sure who is going to want to buy them ….. they are hemorrhaging money like theres no tomorrow

    1. Avatar photo Anuraj says:

      EE or vodafone

  5. Avatar photo JORDANM says:

    We all knew G.Network was going to sell, they kept lying about they numbers etc.

    what a joke

  6. Avatar photo Bob says:

    Has it any value at all other than the customer base ?

    1. Avatar photo Fred says:

      Its all traditional built in the city, thats the only asset not the customer base

  7. Avatar photo Fred says:

    Bad decision after bad decision, horrendous leadership in the last 18 months, a huge drain of talent from the business leaves you in a place where you are desperate to sell the asset hopefully to City fibre.

    If I was City fibre id sit on it and wait for it to distress more, can’t see anyone else wanting it

  8. Avatar photo A M says:

    The obvious buyer might actually be BT. So much of central London has no BT pure fibre FTTP service except leased lines.

    1. Avatar photo - says:

      And the (OR) ducts are pretty well full. One thing GNet did was lay new 2-4 bore duct, which must literally be empty given they’ve no customers 😉

    2. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      I’d be surprised if Openreach buy it. That’s not the way they work. Clive Selley has been pretty clear that they intend to plough their own furrow regardless of anyone else.

  9. Avatar photo - says:

    An obvious buy for cityfibre, however if it happens that would put community fibre in a precarious position as they’d only really have netomnia or nexfibre to exit to, CF would be unwise to buy both.

    Maybe something for Netomnia to pickup, nexfibre probably not – as they’ve already got ducts to use in london (from VM) and the value here is in the duct network and not really the fibre network which is frankly limited.

    A lateral thought but I wonder if it has value to a Vorboss or a similar operator. Perhaps cuckoo/giganet could sell the retail resi/SMB services and vorboss use it as an alternative to PIA going forwards. The duct has more than 0 value to the likes of Zayo/EUN but if they end up selling to them, they’ll of sunk a solid 80% of the value of their business, I hope it doesn’t get to that stage for the investors sake.

    Value of the assets.. £140-160 Million I’d say.

    1. Avatar photo Inside Knowledge says:

      Cityfibre won’t be buying them at the moment, they’re busy working on their acquisition of Allpoints Fibre.

  10. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

    This is the problem and one of the reason I was hesitant to go to Zzoomm, after being on an alternative network a few years ago and that going belly up. But in the end I thought, I would give it a go and see what happens, since every other ISP wanted me to go to Fibre and I had and still don’t have any real need for it. Gave me a chance to get off Openreach.

    But yes, it is hard times for alt networks, so have overbuilt and then you get Openreach with bundles of cash, trying to get rid of them all, along with Virgin.

    Too many companies that far too large and need to be separated.

  11. Avatar photo Steve says:

    Is the CF/APF story a rumour or is there any truth in it?

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