Ten-year-old British wireless ISP County Broadband has shifted technological direction, and now plans to deploy full gigabit fiber, not fixed wireless access networks, to customers in rural England.
County Broadband is only the latest so-called "alternative provider" -- or tier two or tier three operator, as they're known in the United States -- to fuel new ultra-broadband deployments via Aviva Investors' equity infrastructure platform.
"This is a significant moment for County Broadband, as we enter the next phase of our development towards becoming a major network provider in the East of England," said Lloyd Felton, CEO of County Broadband, in a statement.
"The transaction involved an investment totaling up to £46 million, which will provide them with sufficient funding to accelerate their expansion strategy and service thousands of homes in Essex and the surrounding counties," according to Bircham Dyson Bell, the solicitors that acted for County Broadband during the transaction. "Aviva Investors will assist current management with building on its existing infrastructure and brand."
The investment firm is not new to FTTH or rural broadband. TrueSpeed -- founded in 2015 solely to deliver multi-gigabit speeds to residential and commercial customers via a fiber infrastructure across Southwest England -- received £75 million from Aviva Investors. With that infusion, TrueSpeed accelerated its expansion strategy to pass 75,000 homes and businesses in the region, the company said.
For Aviva Investors, the payoff comes from bridging the digital divide in unserved rural regions of Britain and in helping to generate long-term revenue opportunities for investment clients.
"This is another example of how we work to support the delivery of essential infrastructure in the UK, while also providing our institutional investor clients with access to long-dated income streams to help ensure the payment of pensions potentially decades into the future," said Ian Berry, head of Infrastructure Equity at Aviva Investors.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.