The London-based altnet says the funds will be used to complete the next phase of their rollout, which aims to reach 2.2 million premises by 2024
The ongoing economic crisis in the UK appears to have failed to put the brakes on the flow of capital into the UK fibre market, with Community Fibre this week announcing they have signed a new finance facility worth £985 million.
The new funding comprises £685 million in committed facilities with a further £300 million uncommitted accordion (i.e., optional extension). The identities of the new financiers were not revealed.
Community Fibre says that the new funds will be used to expand its fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) rollout to 2.2 million London homes by 2024.
“We are delighted that lenders have seen the impact of our ever-increasing network and the level of customer interest in faster, more reliable and more affordable broadband access,” said Graeme Oxby, CEO of Community Fibre. “In a time of money worries for many families, Community Fibre has been able to deliver a better service for a lower price. We will now be able to accelerate our network roll out and bring these benefits to a much larger number of customers.”
The network builder last received funding back in 2020, when private equity firm Warburg Pincus and investment management group DTCP contributed a combined £400 million. At the time, Community Fibre was aiming to pass one million homes by 2023 – a target that it seems likely miss, having currently only passed around 675,000 homes, according to the company press release this week.
Indeed, this means that reaching the company’s new target of 2.2 million by 2024 will be no small feat, suggesting the company aims to triple its existing fibre footprint in just over a year.
Community Fibre’s rollout has been accelerating in recent months, having passed an additional 175,000 homes in the past four months alone, but the company’s rollout pace will have to increase significantly to meet this ambitious target.