Community Fibre to splash £400m on FTTP connections as it races to cover a million London properties by 2023

10Gbps upgrade from challenger ISP backed by private equity

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London-based ISP Community Fibre has said it will invest £400m to extend its 10Gbps FTTP connections to more premises in the English capital, aiming to reach one million households and businesses by 2023.

The funds come from private equity firm Warburg Pincus and DTCP, an investment management group that specialises in tech infrastructure. Although the terms of the deal are not yet known, Community Fibre said both investors will have a controlling stake in the operation.

Community Fibre has also recruited former EE CEO Olaf Swantee to serve as its executive chairman. In addition to roles at EE and its predecessor Orange, Swantee has also served as CEO of Swiss mobile network Sunrise.

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This new investment will allow Community Fibre to surpass its original goal of 500,000 premises by 2020, the company claimed.

The challenger ISP already covers 100,000 premises, mostly in apartment blocks and social housing – dubbed MDUs or multiple dwelling units. At the start of the year, 70 per cent of social housing in Wandsworth and 57 per cent in Southwark was linked to its network.

Community Fibre has expressed desire to connect more individual houses – SDUs or single dwelling units – and the influx of cash should help the firm meet its growth ambitions.

However, Community Fibre will face stiff competition as its network provision increasingly overlaps with that of established rivals, like Openreach and Virgin Media. It also faces challenges from other upstarts, most notably Hyperoptic, which also serves other regions including Liverpool, Bristol, and Manchester. ®

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