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NDIF backs UK’s independent 10Gb fibre network

26th October 2018

  • Funding to target 1,000km of new high capacity fibre routes across the UK
  • New link across the Severn from Bristol to Newport to open access to ultrafast fibre broadband to over 4,000 small businesses between South Wales and Southwest England

NDIF backs UK’s independent 10Gb fibre network

LONDON/HATFIELD, 26 October 2018 – Nextgenaccess Ltd, a developer of ultrafast wholesale and custom fibre broadband infrastructure in England and Wales (“NGA”, the “Company”), has secured £22 million of investment from the National Digital Infrastructure Fund (“NDIF”).

 

NGA has successfully built an independent network across the UK with over 100 Points of Presence (“PoPs”) in ten different local authority areas, whereby small businesses in otherwise underserved areas can connect directly to wholesale fibre-to-the-premise (“FTTP”) broadband at speeds of up to 10Gbps.

 

NDIF will acquire a substantial minority shareholding in NGA and provide capital facilities to support NGA’s growth. NDIF’s funding will help finance a major expansion of this network, with plans to deploy over 1,000km of new high capacity fibre routes across the UK by the end of 2020.

 

As part of that plan, NGA is today announcing the construction of a new 80km high capacity fibre route connecting the City of Bristol directly to Europe’s largest data centre located in Newport with a 4km connection across the Severn Bridge. The link is being developed in partnership with hyperscale data centre operator, Next Generation Data (“NGD”), and will open up ultrafast connectivity to over 4,000 underserved small businesses along the route from South Wales to Southwest England.

 

The UK Government’s recent Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (“FTIR”) called for substantial investment into the UK’s fibre infrastructure to support the rollout of 5G and enhance the UK’s mobile and fibre-to-the-premise (“FTTP”) connectivity.

 

NDIF is a commercial fund established in 2017 by Amber Infrastructure Group (“Amber”) to invest in the next generation of digital infrastructure in the UK. It is supported by cornerstone investments from the UK Government through its Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (“DIIF”) and International Public Partnerships (“INPP”), a leading listed infrastructure investment company.

 

Mark Weller, Managing Director, Nextgenaccess Ltd, said: “NDIF’s investment will allow us to accelerate scale deployment of our independent ultrafast network across the UK, particularly to underserved areas where we can provide small businesses with unique access to truly next generation full-fibre broadband at a proven lower cost than traditional telecoms operators.”

 

Khalid Naqib, Senior Investment Director, Amber Infrastructure, said: “Widescale FTTP and 5G rollout will make increasing demands on the capacity of the UK’s existing network infrastructure. Deploying wholesale access fibre quickly and effectively is key to bringing forward the next generation of connectivity for homes and businesses. With the backing of NDIF as a long-term, responsible partner, NGA will help to future-proof the UK’s fibre infrastructure and accelerate the ambitious transition to a gigabit future.” 

 

Simon Bearne, Commercial Director, Next Generation Data, said: “We are excited to be working with NGA on this project to bring ultrafast connectivity to thousands of under-served businesses in South Wales, and through NGD’s existing direct connections to cloud Infrastructure enable high speed access to services such as Microsoft Azure. At the same time it allows NGD customers to enjoy the benefits of NGA’s nationwide fibre network.”

 

Matthew Vickerstaff, Deputy Chief Executive, Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said: “Today's announcement is a great example of government and industry partnership in action. Our cornerstone investment alongside Amber Infrastructure Group, through the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, is helping to catalyse the roll out of full-fibre networks for people and businesses in Wales and South West England." ”

 

Amber is an established partner of central government and local authorities across the UK, pioneering new ways to mobilise and deploy capital on a commercial basis into vital and often underserved public infrastructure; such as energy efficiency and urban regeneration, as well as more mainstream economic infrastructure in the education, health, transport and utilities sectors.

 

In April 2018, NDIF led £25 million of investment into Community Fibre, an ultrafast, full-fibre internet service provider to fund the rollout of full-fibre connectivity to a further 100,000 homes in London. In July 2018, NDIF injected up to £16 million of new funding into Airband Community Internet Ltd, a rural broadband provider using a hybrid fibre/wireless  solution to improve connectivity for thousands of rural homes and businesses in some of the hardest to reach areas in Devon, Shropshire, Wales and the Midlands.

 

 

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