County Broadband Ltd, a UK fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) alternative network operator, today announced that it has secured an incremental £100m ($131m USD) investment from Aviva Investors, the asset management arm of UK insurance company Aviva plc, to grow its fiber roll-out towards its target of passing 500k homes and businesses in rural communities across the East of England, by the end of 2027.

With this additional tranche of funding, Aviva Investors grows its total commitment for County Broadband to £146m ($191m USD), following its initial investment in 2018.

County Broadband – Aviva Investors Funds Fiber Roll-Out

County Broadband was founded in 2003 and is headquartered in the town of Colchester, Essex, England. Presently, the company is deploying its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) infrastructure to over 150 villages in the counties of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.

County Broadband Fiber Roll-Out County Map

Target markets for County Broadband include rural communities that are served by legacy copper-based fiber-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, which is only capable of delivering broadband speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps). FTTC technology sends fiber cables only to local street-side cabinets, with existing old copper cabling then connecting to each premise.

In these communities, County Broadband replaces this copper infrastructure by deploying its fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, whereby it installs fiber-optic cables directly into the premises. In turn, the company is able to provide download and upload (i.e., symmetrical) speeds of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).

Expansion

Aviva Investors’ incremental £100m investment will enable County Broadband to roll-out fiber broadband to thousands more communities, homes, and businesses in the East of England. Below are examples of County Broadband’s roll-out plans in Cambridgeshire and North Norfolk, England:

Cambridgeshire, England

In March 2022, County Broadband added 21 villages to its FTTP roll-out, including villages located within the St Neots and Huntingdon areas of Cambridgeshire, England.

Overall, the 21 villages comprise 6.0k premises in Boxworth, Buckden, Diddington, Elsworth, Eltisley, Grafham, Graveley, Great Paxton, Great Staughton, Hail Weston, Hilton, Knapwell, Lolworth, Midloe, Offord Cluny, Offord D’Arcy, Papworth St Agnes, Perry, Southoe, Toseland, and Yelling.

North Norfolk, England

In January 2022, County Broadband added 15 villages in North Norfolk to its FTTP roll-out. Overall, the 15 villages include Antingham, Bacton, Brampton, Burgh and Tuttington, Colby, Felmingham, Gimingham, Knapton, Mundesley, Paston, Skeyton, Southrepps, Swafield, Swanton Abbott, and Trunch.

Speed Tiers

County Broadband offers customers fiber broadband packages at overall speeds of 300 megabits per second (Mbps), 600 Mbps, and 900 Mbps.

Management and Employees

County Broadband is led by Lloyd Felton as its Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Also, more broadly, County Broadband plans to double its workforce to over 250. As a reference point, for the year ended December 31, 2020, the average number of people employed by the company was 73.

Financials

For the year ended December 31, 2020, County Broadband’s cumulative retained loss totaled -£9.8m (-$13.4m USD). Additionally, as of December 31, 2020, County Broadband had tangible fixed assets, at cost (i.e., pre-depreciation), of £16.9m ($23.1m USD), which primarily consisted of assets under construction and fiber build.

Jonathan Kim covers Fiber for Dgtl Infra, including Zayo Group, Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI), Uniti Group (NASDAQ: UNIT), Lumen Technologies (NYSE: LUMN), Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FYBR), Consolidated Communications (NASDAQ: CNSL), and many more. Within Fiber, Jonathan focuses on the sub-sectors of wholesale / dark fiber, enterprise fiber, fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP), and subsea cables.

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