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.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s,
contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
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