Bank invests £250million as cornerstone lender in major broadband roll-out deal

Bank invests £250million as cornerstone lender in major broadband roll-out deal 

17 July 2023

The UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced it has made a £250 million debt investment in new next generation fibre broadband company nexfibre which is rolling out full-fibre broadband to 5 million homes across the UK by 2026.

As part of its commitment to investing in infrastructure that tackles climate change and boosts regional and local growth, the Bank is a cornerstone lender in the project, which is backed by total investment of £4.5 billion in its initial phase. 

nexfibre has been set up as a partnership between InfraVia Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Telefónica. The partnership has committed £1.4 billion in equity to the project. The deal also includes more than £3 billion in debt raised from further private investors, with the Bank’s involvement helping to underpin what is the second largest debt raise seen in the UK digital market to date.

nexfibre will initially roll out fibre to 5 million homes not currently served by Virgin Media O2’s network by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an additional 2 million homes.

The project has the potential to provide full-fibre connection for up to a quarter of UK homes, with the aim of rolling out fast, high-quality connectivity to properties who have limited service currently.

The Bank’s loan is targeted towards locations which have to date had poorer digital connectivity or historically lower productivity. The investment is expected to help boost growth in these areas and reduce existing inequalities in accessing vital digital services.

Full-fibre broadband offers the fastest and most reliable broadband available and is critical to the delivery of multi-gigabit speeds in the future while being more energy-efficient and less carbon intensive than copper connections.

The project is one of a number of recent digital initiatives which will help to accelerate the delivery of the Government’s ambition to reach national gigabit capable broadband coverage to at least 99% of premises by 2030, with a target of 85% of premises expected to be met by 2025.

You can read more on the Bank’s fibre investments to date and the importance of continuing to build the UK digital infrastructure in this blog.