UK Infrastructure Bank backs Gigaclear rural broadband expansion

UK Infrastructure Bank backs Gigaclear rural broadband expansion

15 December 2023

The UK Infrastructure Bank has today announced a £240 million debt guarantee to support the continued expansion of Gigaclear’s rural fibre broadband network.

The guarantee is part of a wider c.£1.5 billion debt funding package and will facilitate the expansion of Gigaclear’s rollout of fibre-to-the premises (FTTP) broadband.

The Bank’s financing will support improved internet connections provided to an additional 400,000 homes and businesses in harder-to-reach and underserved areas in England.

In line with the Bank’s mandate, the expansion of the rollout will help to boost growth and reduce existing inequalities through improved connectivity, while also supporting the Government’s target for nationwide access to gigabit-capable broadband by 2030. 

UK Infrastructure Bank Head of Banking and Investments, Ian Brown, said: 

"Improving digital infrastructure and lessening digital inequalities is vital for the UK’s net zero and regional growth ambitions.

“The Bank’s debt guarantee will support connectivity in areas where it’s needed most, helping to unlock opportunity and productivity."

Gareth Williams, CEO at Gigaclear, said: 

"By securing this debt funding, we’ve shown that despite high levels of volatility in the sector, there remains an appetite among business lenders to support fibre operators that can demonstrate a robust business model.

"Not only is it an endorsement of Gigaclear’s mission to take its full fibre broadband to underserved, rural communities across England but it is also a reflection of the great things being achieved by the team at Gigaclear.

"Our resolve to reach more than one million premises by 2027 is supported by this announcement, which is nothing less than a vote of confidence in us successfully achieving our goal."

The UK Infrastructure Bank deploys its capital through three main instruments – debt, equity and guarantees.