Community Fibre receives backing from the National Digital Infrastructure Fund

Community Fibre, the ultra-fast full-fibre Internet Service Provider, has secured £25m in new financing led by the National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF) to rollout full-fibre connectivity to a further 100,000 homes by 2019, covering social and private housing estates across London.

Only 3% of UK homes are currently connected to full-fibre broadband which has the capacity to provide gigabit-capable download speeds. Community Fibre will use this new funding to further expand its coverage across London, continuing to target social housing estates as a priority, where enhanced, ultrafast internet connectivity can open up new economic opportunities to some of the most disadvantaged communities in London.

NDIF is a commercial fund established in 2017 by Amber Infrastructure Group (Amber) to invest in the next generation of digital infrastructure in the UK. It is supported by cornerstone investments from the UK Government through its Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) and International Public Partnerships (INPP), a listed infrastructure investment company.

The funding more than doubles the investment in Community Fibre to date and marks a significant milestone in supporting the Company’s target of connecting 500,000 homes in London with full-fibre by 2022. NDIF is investing alongside an existing shareholder in the Company, RPMI Railpen (Railpen), one of the largest UK pension investors with about £28bn of assets under management. Railpen is the largest shareholder in Community Fibre having first invested a year ago. NDIF and Railpen have subscribed for £18m and £7m, respectively, of new equity in Community Fibre.

Khalid Naqib, Senior Investment Director, Amber Infrastructure, said: “As long-term, responsible partners to the public sector, our aim is to mobilise capital effectively to scale up the digital infrastructure that is so critical to the UK’s economic future.

“NDIF’s investment will help deliver gigabit connectivity to London’s local communities and secure appropriate returns for our investors, one of which is the UK taxpayer. We look forward to announcing further investments in the coming months as we help progress one of the central objectives in the UK Government’s productivity agenda.”

Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said: “Today’s investment shows how we are delivering better broadband for Londoners who will benefit from fast connections. As we increasingly live our lives online, it is vital our digital connections can support this. We want to see full fibre broadband rolled out across the UK as quickly as possible and to support a competitive private sector in delivering that objective. That’s why we created the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which is boosting the rollout of full fibre to enable people to live and work flexibly and productively, without connections failing.”

NDIF forms part of the UK Government’s DIIF, a £400m government initiative to accelerate investment into fibre-optic based broadband networks and related businesses to build the next generation of digital networks to scale up and accelerate the rollout of ultrafast connectivity across the UK.

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