UK challenger telco’s press on


Announcements today from ISP Grain, Bath based Truespeed, and B Corp Zen reinforces the sense that there is still plenty going on with the UK’s ambitious smaller telco’s.

Rochdale based broadband provider, Zen, continued to show commitment to its B Corporation certification and Carbon Neutral status, announcing installation of 675 solar panels to the roof of its headquarters office building. This is only stage one, with another 500 panels to follow which should see solar power generate 330 MWh of electricity for the company.

Paul Stobart, CEO at Zen, commented “One way to reduce reliance on fossil fuels is to invest in solar, which is exactly what we are doing at Zen.”

Heading further north, Cumbria-based ISP Grain has secured more funding to assist with plans to roll out fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) across the North of England. Existing shareholders Equitix, Albion Capital and Pinnacle Group have been joined by funding from Landesbank Nord/LB to take the total capital invested in the business to £200 million.

German Landesbank Nord/LB has committed £110 million, whilst the existing shareholders have are investing an additional £21 million of equity. CFO Roland Barzegar, said ‘This further investment in Grain will see us accelerate the rollout already underway across the country. We have proven that our model of providing fast, reliable and great value broadband is working, and customers are happy that they have more choice outside of the national broadband providers.’

Finally, at the other end of the country, Bath based Truespeed expects progress to come from transformation of internal systems, and to achieve this have looked to BT’s talent pool, hiring Robert Purdy as Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining Truespeed Robert was Director of Consumer IT, responsible for delivering the BT, EE and Plusnet brands across broadband, mobile and television services. He says he was drawn to Truespeed by “how successfully it has grown and how well it’s situated in its current scale-up phase.”

Another well funded business, Truespeed were founded in 2014 and are supported by Aviva Investors who have so far invested £175 million firm, most recently in January 2022.

Richard Tang, Founder and Chairman of Zen Internet will be one of the speakers at the Total Telecom Connected North event, taking place on 17 – 18 April 2023 at Manchester Central.

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