Hyperoptic Grows Full Fibre to Cover 1.6m UK Premises and Enhances Top Team

City-focused broadband ISP and alternative network provider Hyperoptic has revealed the appointment of four new key members to its leadership team. On top of that, they’ve also quietly confirmed that their gigabit full fibre (FTTP/B) network now covers “more than” 1.6 million UK homes (up from 1.4m in Oct 2023) across parts of 64 UK towns and cities.

The operator, which is home to a customer base of 300,000 (5th Oct 2023 – we haven’t had an updated figure since then) and has been targeting 500,000 for the near future, was previously known to be aiming to cover 2 million premises with their gigabit broadband network by some point in 2024 (the prior target was to hit this at the end of 2023).

NOTE: KKR acquired a majority (75%) equity stake in Hyperoptic during 2019 (here) and the operator, which is home to c. 2,000 staff, has so far secured over £600m in debt to fund its growth.

However, Hyperoptic’s plans were tweaked during mid-2023, which occurred after they announced a number of redundancies and appeared to suffer a slowdown in their build due to the difficult economic climate (here). Since then the operator has reportedly been attempting to raise up to £500m of additional capital in order to continue their network expansion (here), but we’ve not heard anything new on that since earlier in the year (interest rates remain high, which may hamper such deals).

The positive news today is that the operator has announced several key hires to help “signify [our] commitment to continuous improvement and innovation“. Joining the company are Robert Osborne as Director of Enterprise Architecture, Robert Baynes as Technical Operations Director, Michele Hanson as Head of Security, and Mike Bywater as Software Development Director. This follows the appointment of Duncan Macdonald as Chief Technology & Innovation Officer (CTIO) in May 2023.

Duncan Macdonald, CTIO of Hyperoptic, told ISPreview:

“Hyperoptic’s world-class technology and innovation leadership team is setting the company up for the future. The expertise and experience that Robert Osborne, Robert Baynes, Michele Hanson, and Mike Bywater bring will play an important role in advancing our mission to be the UK’s most desired and loved broadband provider by driving digital transformation across the nation.”

As part of this the operator has also confirmed that they’re investing in artificial intelligence (AI) and IT transformation initiatives. No specifics were provided to help elaborate on this, although such changes are often aimed at improving existing customer service/support and lowering operating costs.

Speaking of that 1.6 million+ “homes” figure, it’s currently unclear whether this reflects properties that are all ‘Ready for Service’ (RFS). Independent data from Thinkbroadband, which was published in February 2024 (here), put Hyperoptic’s RFS figure at an estimated 1.1 million (vs the then official claim of 1.4m).

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