Press Release

Ultrafast broadband provider Community Fibre has secured a £11million equity investment to support the growth of its Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) networks in London. The funding has been raised from a new institutional investor and existing shareholders.

Since connecting the first properties to its full fibre, gigabit network in 2013, Community Fibre has grown rapidly with 10,000 properties in The City of Westminster and the London Boroughs of Wandsworth and Camden currently able to access its new ultrafast network. This new investment will support its continued expansion, with the number of properties passed expected to reach 40,000 by the end of next year. In turn, this will help improve digital connectivity in the capital – recently described as ‘sub-standard’ in a report released by The London Assembly. The report also revealed that London lacks full fibre connections and ranks 30th out of 63 UK cities for high speed broadband coverage.

RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, is Community Fibre’s new institutional investor, committing £10 million to the company. Existing shareholders are contributing a further £1.3 million.

To further strengthen the business and support delivery of the anticipated growth, Community Fibre has appointed Ilse Howling as its new Chair. A digital media leader, Ilse was one of the founders of Freeview, building it up to become the UK’s largest TV platform watched in 20 million homes, and is currently Chairman of the global children’s development charity Unicef UK.

Jeremy Chelot, CEO, Community Fibre, said:
“Having already delivered thousands of gigabit properties in London, we have a very clear goal of being the leading full fibre ISP in the capital by 2020. This investment demonstrates the confidence investors have in the ability of our business to deliver continued expansion and achieve that ambitious aim. It will also enable us to work with more landlords to invest in and future proof their properties.

“We’re delighted that Ilse has joined the company at such an exciting time. The experience and knowledge she brings with her will only strengthen our business and ensure we are in the best possible position to deliver value for our customers.”

Kieran Thind, Investment Manager at Railpen, said:
“We are excited to be investing in a great company, which is fully focussed on bringing full fibre broadband to communities in London. As a long-term investor, we see our partnership with Community Fibre as a natural fit that will allow us to generate strong returns over time and help fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably.”

Ilse Howling, Chair, Community Fibre, said:
“I know first-hand that giving people access to the best digital technologies can transform lives, so I wholeheartedly support Community Fibre’s mission to provide homes and businesses across London with a faster, better and cheaper internet service. I’m looking forward to being at the forefront of digital development and am excited to have joined a company with such enormous potential to deliver the fastest technology at a price for everyone.”

Community Fibre was advised in the transaction by Cameron Barney LLP, the leading financial adviser in the UK internet infrastructure sector.

Jeremy Chelot said: “Cameron Barney has helped us carry out two very successful financings. The team knows our business and investment community particularly well and was able to structure a complex transaction to meet the objectives of the company and shareholders.”