Community Fibre secures £985m finance facility

London and South East-based gigabit connectivity provider announces massive cash injection

Following the growing London-based altnet’s £400m investment announcement in 2020, Community Fibre Limited has signed a new finance facility of £985m, which will enable the company to continue to execute its rapid roll-out of a full-fibre broadband network to 2.2 million London homes by the end of 2024.

Claiming to be the UK capital’s fastest-growing full-fibre provider, Community Fibre said that in May 2022 it passed a milestone which demonstrated its commitment to offering 2.2 million homes and businesses its full-fibre, multi-gigabit-capable broadband by the end of 2024, and already has 675,000 ready-for-service homes in London and the South East.

The firm has a network with presence in 29 London boroughs, with immediate plans to add Haringey and Havering to its catchment area, and is providing free gigabit broadband to 300 community centres across London, with more planned.

A year ago, it expanded into Surrey and West Sussex by taking a majority stake in Surrey-based full-fibre network operator Box Broadband, to help realise a commitment to bridging the digital divide in the UK. The company’s network offers up to 3 Gbps to residential homes and 10 Gbps for businesses.

The £985m is made up from £685m committed facilities with a further £300m uncommitted accordion. Community Fibre was advised by Rothschild & Co.

The £400m investment announcement in 2020 saw the company reach a majority stake agreement with funds advised by Warburg Pincus and DTCP, alongside its existing investors, Amber Infrastructure and RPMI Railpen. “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 Community Fibre CEO Graeme Oxby.

“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.”

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The investment announcement comes just as the company named UK gamer Miniminter as its first head of speed. Followed by millions, Miniminter is a leading gamer, content creator and founding member of Sidemen, a British YouTube gaming collective, alongside other world-renowned personalities including KSI and W2S. In his role, Miniminter will be responsible for helping customers to better understand their broadband speeds.

Community Fibre research has found that one-third of Brits are unaware of the internet speeds they pay for, and a fifth experienced so-called Wi-Fi rage in the past year because of slow connectivity.

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