Nexfibre Builds FTTP Broadband to 1 Million Extra UK Premises

Network operator nexfibre, which shares the same parentage as Virgin Media (VMO2), has this morning announced that they’ve extended their new 10Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP / XGS-PON) broadband ISP network to cover 1 million UK premises passed (Ready for Service), which is up from 830,000 in December 2023.

In case a recap is needed. Telefónica, Liberty Global and InfraVia Capital Partners originally setup the new £4.5bn nexfibre joint venture in 2022 (here), which aims to deploy an open access fibre network to reach “up to” 7 million UK homes (starting with 5m by 2026) in areas NOT currently served by Virgin Media’s network of 16m+ premises. The funding reflects £3.3bn of fully underwritten financing and up to £1.4bn in equity commitments.

NOTE: Virgin Media is the only ISP on nexfibre’s network via an “exclusive partnership” (here), but they plan to add more ISPs via wholesale in the near future (here). Virgin Media’s own network will shortly also open up to wholesale via NetCo (here).

Nexfibre says they’ve “reached one million premises faster than any other operator” (see build map / progress), achieving it in just 14 months, through their build partnership with Virgin Media. The operator is also in the process of investing another £1bn during 2024 in order for them cover an additional 1 million UK premises (on top of their existing footprint).

The business is set to deliver its network to more premises than any other fibre provider in 2024, except for the incumbent, which will make it the UK’s second-largest network provider in only its second year of operations,” said the announcement. But this statement seems to conflate pace of build with overall coverage, which ignores the fact that CityFibre already covers 3.5 million UK premises (3.2m RFS) and could potentially add up to 1.5-3m extra premises over the next two years via both new build and M&A (mergers) activity (here).

Rajiv Datta, CEO of nexfibre, said:

“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.

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.”

At the time of writing, it remains unclear whether the new coverage figure includes the 175,000 FTTP premises strong network acquired last year from Upp (here), which at the last update was still in the process of being integrated and so hadn’t yet been included into their coverage figure(s). We suspect the same may still be true today, but are currently trying to confirm.

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