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Gigaclear gets £24m boost to roll out 'futureproof' broadband quicker

Tuesday, April 5th 2016 by Ellen Branagh

Gigabit broadband provider Gigaclear has announced an extra £24m investment that will help it roll out fibre to homes and businesses quicker.

The company said it has secured an extra £24m in new equity, which will allow it to speed up the rollout of its pure fibre network to rural communities across the country.

Gigaclear, which installs ultrafast broadband networks in rural communities, uses fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology – bypassing BT’s copper network – and is funded by private investors.

It offers customers speeds of up to 1Gbps – 30 times the UK average – and has already built and operates 60 rural fibre networks, with another 25 in construction.

The latest cash injection, led by Infracapital and Woodford Investment Management, takes its value to £115m and means it can roll out fibre to its target market of 1.5m homes and businesses even more quickly.

It comes after the announcement of a €25m EIB (European Investment Bank) loan announced in January – the largest amount the EIB has awarded to any UK business under the InnovFin initiative.

Gigaclear chief executive Matthew Hare said: “We are building to tens of thousands of potential new customers this year.

“The strong financial support of our shareholders lets us get on with the job of delivering Britain’s best future-proof broadband without delay.”

'Strengthens its presence'

Ed Clarke, co-founder and director at Infracapital, added: “We are delighted to continue our support for Gigaclear as it accelerates its growth rate and strengthens its presence in the market.

“Having successfully secured several BDUK contracts and completed this round of fundraising the business is well placed to deliver its 2016 rollout plans.”

Last year, Mr Hare compared ultrafast speeds to running water, predicting they will be in every home “in the not too distant future”.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk in November, Mr Hare predicted that the internet footprint of Gigaclear – which won BDUK tenders in areas including Gloucestershire, West Berkshire and Essex –would be four times as big.

Mr Hare comments came after the company predicted that it was on track for a “record year” in 2015 after already delivering fibre to twice as many properties as the previous year.

He said: “Ultrafast speeds are like having running water in your home – once you’ve got it, you don’t know how you ever managed without it.

“At some point in the not too distant future, like running water, nobody will be without ultrafast internet access.”

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