Nexfibre has hooked up 1 million premises in record time

Wholesale-only fibre provider Nexfibre has reached 1 million premises in 14 months, which it says is the fastest fibre build programme of any UK network.

Andrew Wooden

April 17, 2024

3 Min Read

The firm has a target to connect full-fibre to 5 million premises by 2026, and it says it is on track to become the ‘second-largest competitive network’ in its second year of operation through its build partnership with Virgin Media O2.

Nexfibre is a joint venture between InfraVia Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Telefónica and is financed with £4.5 billion of equity and debt investment, and beyond the 5 million homes target it has ‘the opportunity’ to expand to an additional 2 million, we’re told.

It is investing £1 billion into broadband infrastructure this year as part of its plans ‘to drive long-term competition in the fibre access market, on a national scale.’

Nexfibre is a wholesale-only provider, so it concentrates on building the full-fibre infrastructure platform, while VMO2 provides broadband services across the network.

“It's thanks to the hard work of our team, our partners, and the commitment of our investors that we are able to mark this significant milestone on our path to reaching 5 million premises by 2026,” said Rajiv Datta, Chief Executive Officer of Nexfibre. “And we’re just getting started. As we continue to accelerate activity, we remain steadfast in our commitment to delivering the high-quality digital infrastructure that has the power to create lasting value in the communities we serve. We firmly believe that we are building a platform to foster sustainable competition in the UK fibre market, that will drive innovation for generations to come.” 

Lutz Schüler, Chief Executive Officer at Virgin Media O2 added: “The build programme is delivering at pace and is underpinned by an ambitious plan that’s already extended fibre to one million new premises. In partnership with Nexfibre, we remain focused on driving scaled, sustainable competition in the full fibre market, and bringing the benefits of next-generation gigabit services to millions more homes and business across the UK.”

Nexfibre says it is ‘well-positioned to be a long-term wholesale operator, on a national scale’ and can play a key role in helping with government targets on improving connectivity across the UK.

As such, Data and Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez is also quoted in the release: “Slow connectivity not only hinders economic growth but also affects people’s quality of life. It is our mission to make sure nobody in Britain is held back by this, and this is why we are delivering the fastest connectivity on the market across the country. In addition to Project Gigabit, a government-funded £5 billion project targeting hard-to-reach areas, it’s fantastic to see the private sector investing on such a scale. Today’s milestone represents a huge vote of confidence in both the telecoms sector and the government’s plan for achieving nationwide gigabit capable connectivity by 2030.”

Nexfibre emerged on the scene in 2022 as an at the time unnamed new joint venture 50% owned by Liberty Global and Telefónica and 50% owned by InfraVia Capital Partners, while VMO2 plays the role of anchor wholesale client and provides technical services.

Datta was announced as the new CEO in October last year, replacing interim chief exec Bernardo Quinn. Datta was previously COO of Colt and chief technology officer, IP and data network, at India’s Jio. The announcement came at the same time that Its fibre rollout passed 500,000 premises – so it’s doubled that in around 7 months according to today’s announcement.

VMO2, Liberty Global and Telefónica also initiated plans to create a new national fixed network company as a challenger to BT’s Openreach referred to as Netco in February this year. It is intended to be a fully consolidated subsidiary of VMO2 and will comprise of the operator’s cable and fibre network assets. In the announcement, it was stated that Nexfibre will continue to operate separately focusing on fibre expansion in greenfield areas.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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