Money is aflush in the fibre world....
After the report of new entrant Zzoomm by ex Gigaclear Matthew Hare a few weeks ago, there is report of yet a new entrant: toob. This time led by ex Vodafone Nick Parbutt and Mike Banwell together with Charles McGregor (ex Gigaclear Chairman and Fibrenet founder).
The improvement of the telecoms network in the UK is crucial to match changes in communication habits and the increase consumption of data by consumers and to give 5G deployment any chance of success. And there is a lot to do to meet the government's ambitious 2033 full coverage target since the territory is still, sadly, only 6 per cent covered.
In this context fibre as become an attractive class of asset of its own. Infrastructure funds are circling around opportunities and we see incredible successes and ambitious new entrants in a very fluid market.
It is not just the appetite which is striking. The type of financing arrangements are also in constant evolution. No deal is similar as the specific characteristics of each company has to be taken into consideration. This results in hybrid financing structures dipping into the infrastructure world and the corporate finance world.
No doubt 2019 is likely to live up to 2018 in this field!
A new full-fibre network company set up by former Vodafone directors has received £75m in funds from investors including the UK government-backed National Digital Infrastructure Fund.