Community Fibre, a UK fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) alternative network operator serving London, which is backed by Warburg Pincus, DTCP, and Amber Infrastructure, today announced that it is increasing its network build target to pass 2.2 million homes and businesses in London by the end of 2024.
Community Fibre – Warburg Pincus, DTCP, Amber Support London Fiber
Fiber network operator and internet service provider (ISP) Community Fibre operates in London, UK. Presently, the company has passed 435k homes and businesses with its fiber connectivity services in England’s capital. As a reference point, Community Fibre had passed 186k homes in London at year-end 2020.
Over the next 3 years, Community Fibre will accelerate its network build, setting a new target to pass 2.2 million homes and businesses in London by the end of 2024. Indeed, this plan more than doubles Community Fibre’s prior objective to roll-out its network to 1 million London households and businesses by 2023.
By the end of 2024, Community Fibre aims to offer ~59% of London’s 3.7 million homes access to its 100% fiber broadband network.
Based on Community Fibre’s existing fiber network, the group will need to make an incremental 1.765 million passings to reach a total of 2.2 million homes and businesses in London. As such, over the next 3 years, Community Fibre will need to deploy fiber at an average pacing of 588k fiber passings per year. To this end, the company notes that it is tripling its roll-out pace from the past year.
Community Fibre is deploying its fiber optic networks through the existing ducts under London’s streets, as well as on poles, rather than digging trenches.
Presently, Community Fibre operates in the following London boroughs: Barnet, Brent, Bexley, Bromley, Camden, City of London, Croydon, Ealing, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Kingston upon Thames, Lambeth, Lewisham, Merton, Newham, Richmond upon Thames, Southwark, Sutton, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Wandsworth, and Westminster.
Community Fibre offers consumers fiber broadband packages starting at speeds of only 50 megabits per second (Mbps), with its key offering being at 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). Additionally, the company offers speeds of up to 3 Gbps for consumers and up to 10 Gbps for businesses.
Community Fibre is led by Graeme Oxby as CEO, who has previously held roles at Virgin Mobile and Virgin Media. Additionally, Olaf Swantee is Executive Chairman of Community Fibre, who was most recently a director of Vodafone. More broadly, Community Fibre has grown its team by hiring more than 300 employees.
For the year ended December 31, 2020, Community Fibre generated revenue of £3.77m ($5.1m USD) and an operating loss of -£15.2m (-$20.6m USD). Additionally, as of December 31, 2020, Community Fibre had tangible fixed assets, at cost (i.e., pre-depreciation), of £87.6m ($119m USD), which primarily consisted of plant & machinery and assets under construction.
During 2020, Community Fibre secured a 5-year committed senior debt facility for capital expenditures of £193m from NatWest. Additionally, NatWest provided a revolving credit facility of £15m and an uncommitted accordion facility of £100m.
In April 2018, Amber Infrastructure invested in Community Fibre through the Amber-managed National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF). At this time, RPMI Railpen, which runs the UK’s railway pension scheme also invested in Community Fibre. Subsequently, in July 2020, Warburg Pincus and DTCP acquired a controlling stake in Community Fibre and committed to invest up to £400m in the company.