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Nexfibre makes billion-pound broadband infrastructure investment

Next step in UK wholesale provider’s plan to deliver full-fibre gigabit network to 5 million premises by 2026 sees commitment to billion pound investment in broadband infrastructure across the course of 2024.

As it looks to accelerate the footprint and supplier roster of its wholesale full-fibre-based gigabit broadband network across the UK, Nexfibre revealed it will invest £1bn in broadband infrastructure this year as part of plans to drive long-term competition in the fibre access market on a national scale.

Nexfibre is the result of a £4.5bn investment from Virgin Media O2 (VMO2) shareholders, Liberty Global and Telefónica, alongside investment firm InfraVia Capital Partners. It was launched to create the UK’s first national-scale challenger to BT Openreach, boosting choice and competition in the market.

Nexfibre aims to roll out fibre initially to five million homes not currently served by the VMO2 network by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an additional two million homes. VMO2 has an exclusive partnership with Nexfibre and aims to have a fibre footprint reaching 80% of the UK when coupled with its own fibre upgrade plans, which complete in 2028, with Nexfibre providing a material baseline of penetration to build upon.

The wholesale provider said that the investment will provide a major boost to the UK’s digital infrastructure, helping the government to fulfil its gigabit broadband ambitions as well as achieve its own aims. Nexfibre sees the investment as providing the UK with the competitive market needed to drive progress and innovation, addressing a “historical” lack of investment in the area, as a direct result of traditional “monopolistic” positions in the market, and “failure to deliver the next generation of connectivity”.

With the network expansion activity ramping up, Nexfibre CEO Rajiv Datta noted that other than incumbent broadband provider Openreach, his company is set to build more than any fibre network provider in the UK this year, which would result in it becoming the second-largest competitive network in just its second year of operation. He added that the business intends to play an active role in market consolidation, providing a natural home for quality networks which extend its footprint. 

“The £1bn we are investing this year will be a major boost to the UK’s digital infrastructure. Backed by our world-class investors, we are bringing much-needed sustainable competition and next generation connectivity to the UK,” he said.

“Our focus is on addressing the historical lack of investment that has left the UK lagging behind its European counterparts, and providing a platform for progress and innovation to deliver lasting value to the communities we serve, and the wider economy.”

Nexfibre chairman Andrea Salvato added: “Our in-year investment of £1bn represents an important step as we continue to build a world-class network, which will reach more than five million homes across the UK by 2026.

“At Nexfibre, we are committed to bringing full-fibre connectivity to previously underserved suburban and semi-rural areas, playing our part in helping to close the digital divide and boost local economies.”  

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