Gigaclear raises £7.75m funding to help plug rural broadband gaps

Telecoms

by Michael Moore| 02 July 2014

Investment includes £5m from private equity fund.

Fibre broadband provider Gigaclear has completed a new round of equity funding worth £7.75m.

The company, which offers download speeds of up to 1GBps, hopes to connect more rural locations to superfast broadband than ever before, and is aiming to reach 10,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2014.

The funds have been raised from both new and existing investors, and include £5m from private equity firm CF Woodford Equity Income, which raised £1.6bn in its offer period last month.

Founded in December 2010, Gigaclear currently owns and operates eight rural fibre networks across Oxfordshire and Rutland, and aims to increase this to 25 by the end of the year. Six of these networks are already under construction in Oxfordshire and Kent, and the company recently announced plans to construct further networks in Northamptonshire and Peterborough.

"The demand for better broadband from homes and businesses in rural communities continues to rise," said Matthew Hare, chief executive of Gigaclear.

"With every network we build, Gigaclear is able to show beyond doubt that we can build, operate and monitise new FTTP networks that deliver real returns for their users and for our shareholders. With fresh funding secured, we can now forge ahead with our plans to bring reliable, ultrafast and very cost effective broadband to the underserved and often forgotten rural communities across Britain."

Rural broadband has drawn a lot of government funding and attention over the past couple of months as it tries to push through its BDUK project, which aims to provide 95% of the country with superfast connections by 2017.

Last month, the government revealed the eight companies that had won a share of a £10m innovation fund it had set aside to investigate new ways of bringing superfast broadband to the most remote and hardest to reach places in the UK, including projects across England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

 

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