Hyperoptic lands another £150m to fuel its fibre dream

Source: Hyperoptic

Source: Hyperoptic

  • Hyperoptic has long been one of the UK’s leading fibre broadband altnets and now passes more than 1.7 million premises with its access network
  • It has attracted additional funding from the UK Infrastructure Bank to help achieve its rollout ambitions
  • The provider is to focus on areas where full fibre infrastructure is missing

UK fibre broadband network operator Hyperoptic has secured fresh funding of £150m to accelerate its network rollout plans as it works towards its goal of reaching two million premises nationwide.

In a statement, the company explained that the new amount comes from the UK Infrastructure Bank (UKIB), which takes its total committed debt facility to more than £1.1bn.

This year alone, Hyperoptic has now managed to raise an additional £255m of debt facilities from new and existing lenders to back its rollout and growth plans. Currently, the provider passes more than 1.73 million homes in 64 UK towns and cities, including London and Leeds, and connects 340,000 customers across the UK to its full fibre broadband service. Its most recently shared targets are to pass two million premises (by an unspecified time) and have 500,000 paying customers. 

Its plans place a “particular emphasis on connecting more people to the network, bridging the digital divide and providing essential connectivity to communities nationwide”, with the new UKIB investment set to help it provide a social tariff offering affordable broadband access to “thousands of residents in social housing”.

Hyperoptic’s co-founder and CEO, Dana Tobak CBE, stated that the provider has been “on a mission to bring ultra-reliable, hyperfast full fibre broadband to businesses and consumers” in urban areas and new developments across the UK since its inception in 2011. “We’re acutely aware of the government’s target to achieve 99% gigabit-capable broadband coverage by 2030 and, as an industry, we still have some way to go to achieve it. We welcome the support of the UK Infrastructure Bank, together with other investors, enabling us to continue delivering award-winning gigabit-capable broadband to more people across the UK every day,” she added.

The UKIB noted in a separate statement that its investment will support Hyperoptic’s rollout vision, explaining that nearly half of the provider’s deployments are targeting premises with no existing full fibre network infrastructure.

“Our investment in Hyperoptic will ensure that the scale and pace of the full fibre rollout is sustained, specifically in those areas where it’s needed the most, opening up opportunities for numerous communities across the UK. We hope that our commitment will help mobilise further private debt financing for Hyperoptic’s continued network expansion,” stated Ian Brown, head of banking and investments at UKIB.

Hyperoptic is considered to be among the top alternative network operators (altnets) in the UK, alongside the likes of CityFibre, Community Fibre and NetOmnia.

Since 2019, the London-based fibre broadband provider has been majority owned by KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts), the private equity firm that has been very actively pursuing deals in the telco sector, including through the acquisition of Telecom Italia’s NetCo fixed access network unit, which was completed a week ago.

Commenting on the new funding for Hyperoptic, KKR’s partner and co-head of European Infrastructure, Vincent Policard, said: “Hyperoptic continues to have a market-leading position and superior customer product in the UK. Securing this additional funding allows the Hyperoptic team to extend the roll out to more premises, making its network more widely available to consumers seeking an enhanced online experience.”

News of the Hyperoptic funding comes only weeks after another UK fibre broadband altnet, Netomnia, announced its plan to merge with another fibre network builder, Brsk – see UK fibre altnets merge to gain greater scale.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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