Basalt Infrastructure Partners, an infrastructure private equity firm, today announced that it has made a £100m commitment to Digital Infrastructure Limited, an internet service provider (ISP), which operates under the brand name Be Fibre. Specifically, Digital Infrastructure Limited plans, builds, and operates a fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, while the Be Fibre brand interfaces with consumers.

Previously during 2021, Basalt Infrastructure Partners acquired a majority interest in fiber provider Digital Infrastructure Limited from Maestro Technologies Ltd.

Digital Infrastructure Limited, Be Fibre – Basalt Backs Fiber Growth

Over the next 6 years, Digital Infrastructure Limited targets passing 1 million premises with fiber broadband, to cover 3% of the UK. By 2027, the company expects to reach 80 towns and cities in the UK with its Be Fibre broadband service. Ultimately, Digital Infrastructure will need incremental funding beyond Basalt Infrastructure’s initial £100m capital commitment to complete these roll-out targets.

Presently, Digital Infrastructure has opened hubs in the Northwest of England (Cheshire), the Southeast (Essex), and the Midlands. Subsequently, the company intends to launch a fourth hub near the Scottish border in 2022.

Deployments

In July 2021, Digital Infrastructure partnered with Aberla Utilities through a 5-year contract to deliver fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) across ~38k residential properties around the town of Crewe in the county of Cheshire.

The company aims to deploy fiber in existing ducts, without having the need to dig up roads. Indeed, this implies a quicker and more cost-effective method of deploying fiber infrastructure.

Speed Tiers

Be Fibre offers consumers fiber broadband packages at speeds of 150 megabits per second (Mbps), 500 Mbps, 720 Mbps, and 1,000 Mbps.

Management

Digital Infrastructure Limited is led by Charlie Ruddy as CEO, Dave Mountain as CFO, and Carlos Bock as Chairman.

Basalt Infrastructure Partners – Overview

Basalt Infrastructure Partners focuses on mid-market investments in the infrastructure sectors of utilities, power, transport, and digital, in North America and Europe.

UK Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) Experience

Within the fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) asset class in the UK, Basalt has experience investing in:

  • FullFibre: owns and operates fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) networks serving small- and medium-sized towns primarily in the southwest and west of England
  • Manx Telecom: provides fixed line, broadband, mobile, and data center services to retail, business, and public sector customers. Overall, the company serves the Isle of Man

Digital Infrastructure – Portfolio Companies

Beyond fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) in the UK, Basalt has made investments in the following companies within the fiber infrastructure sub-sector:

  • Connect Fibre: acquired bn:t (Blatzheim Networks Telecom) and SOCO. Specifically, these acquisitions were of two fiber network owners and operators in the North Rhine-Westphalia region of Germany
  • goetel: fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) provider in the rural areas of Hesse, Lower Saxony, and North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany
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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