08 June 2023 Press | Network Utilities

Equitix commits funding to Gigaclear to support rural roll-out

Gigaclear, the UK’s leading rural full fibre broadband alternative network provider, has secured equity investment from Equitix to support its long-term plan to provide service to more than a million premises by 2027.

Gigaclear builds and operates the UK’s largest rural fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network delivering ultrafast and reliable full fibre broadband to rural communities across the UK.

The funding of up to £420 million will help Gigaclear extend its network, which already serves more than 450,000 homes across 23 counties. Gigaclear is principally owned by Infracapital, the infrastructure equity investment arm of M&G Plc.

Gareth Williams, CEO at Gigaclear, said: “We are delighted Equitix has chosen to invest with us as we continue to expand our network to underserved rural towns and villages that would otherwise be left behind. Equitix recognises, as we do, that focusing on connecting poorly-served rural communities clearly differentiates us from other providers of fibre to the home.

“There are more than one million additional homes and businesses in the UK for us to build to that fall within our company’s mission. Gigaclear will push forward, ensuring many more communities in rural England are able to benefit from the ultrafast full fibre broadband speeds enjoyed by their urban counterparts. Alongside our commercial expansion, we will continue to explore opportunities to work with the Government on its Building Digital (BDUK) programme, evaluating each opportunity on a case-by-case basis.”

Hugh Crossley, Chief Executive Officer at Equitix commented: “We are proud to partner with Infracapital and the Gigaclear team in delivering reliable, affordable, full fibre broadband to rural areas of the UK. In line with our strategic aims to support the UK’s infrastructure and essential services whilst positively impacting local communities, our investment here is a positive step towards generating connectivity for all. Fibre is essential infrastructure and we like the barriers to entry and predictable low risk revenues generated by Gigaclear, the largest rural altnet in the UK.”

Andy Matthews, Head of Greenfield at Infracapital said: “We believe that fast and reliable digital infrastructure, particularly in rural communities, is vital for economic growth. It is a key enabler for people living in often hard to reach areas to get access to all the opportunities and social benefits available, as well as creating jobs. We are delighted with the success that Gigaclear has achieved to date, since our initial investment in 2015, and we look forward to continuing to work with them as they expand across the UK.”

Infracapital invested in Gigaclear through its greenfield strategy which is to build, deliver and operate essential greenfield infrastructure to meet the changing needs of society and support long-term economic growth across Europe.