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Infracapital's investment in Gigaclear has accelerated the build of more than 30 new ultrafast fibre optic broadband networks, bridging the gap between rural and urban internet access across the UK.
Industry: Communications Infrastructure
Headquarters: Oxfordshire, UK
Gigaclear provides ultrafast fibre optic broadband networks for the UK’s underserved rural communities. The company has already reached 35,000 homes and businesses, and offers connection speeds 28 times faster than the UK average*.
Launched in 2010, and backed by UK government grants, Gigaclear aims to bridge the gap between rural and urban internet access across the country.
By installing ultrafast fibre optic broadband networks in remote and rural regions, the company addresses the growing need for a reliable communications infrastructure to support consumers, local businesses and local economies.
In 2015, Infracapital invested £47 million in Gigaclear and began working closely with its experienced management team. Whilst the company is at an early stage of its development, we believe it will benefit from our asset management experience and strive to implement the highest standards of governance and transparency.
The company operates in a tightly regulated environment which requires high standards of corporate practice. They are also registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office, which upholds information rights in the public interest.
Corporate governance is therefore central to Gigaclear’s long-term success which is why we negotiated the right to appoint a representative on the company’s board to influence all matters, including ESG. Among many things, this has specifically resulted in the adoption of a dedicated policy for employee diversity.
Since our investment, Gigaclear has been able to accelerate the build of more than 30 new ultrafast fibre optic broadband networks which has helped the company to significantly expand its market coverage.
The company’s growth has played an important social role by empowering more rural businesses. For example, Webexpenses, an Oxfordshire-based cloud software company, is now able to operate more effectively thanks to a robust connectivity and the ability to seamlessly access important web-based tools.
In May 2017, Infracapital committed to investing £60m in additional equity funding to build new full fibre networks in rural Britain.
With UK internet traffic forecast to grow three-fold from 2016 to 2021**, we believe that Gigaclear has high growth potential that can deliver attractive long-term returns.
*Based on Thinkbroad speed tests May 2017
** Click here to see the Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights Tool
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