Fibrus secures £220m bank funding to continue fibre roll-out

CBI NI regional director Angela McGowan with Fibrus' chief financial officer Colin Hutchinson and founder Dominic Kearns
Gary McDonald Business Editor

INDIGENOUS full fibre broadband company Fibrus has secured £220 million from a consortium of banks to fund its roll-out in Northern Ireland, where it is investing £500 million to reach 330,000 previously under-served homes in rural and regional areas.

Fibrus, whose network has already reached more than 120,000 homes and businesses, says the increase in speed and access to full fibre broadband will position the north as the lead region for high-speed connectivity, driving economic growth and community cohesion.

The investment in increased connectivity is funded by public and private capital including Project Stratum, the NI Executive scheme which has provided £197m to boost rural broadband connections.

Colin Hutchinson, chief financial officer with Fibrus, welcomed the funding partnership from the consortium, which includes the government's UK Infrastructure Bank, launched last year to help tackle climate change and to support regional and local economic growth.

He said: “We're well aware of the importance of high-speed broadband across Northern Ireland, and with every connection we make, we are making lives better. Too many homes and businesses have been left behind by other broadband providers and that is not acceptable.

“This latest investment helps us to meet our current plan of connecting 330,000 premises and we are already well ahead of schedule. Together we're improving lives, connecting communities, growing the economy, and making Northern Ireland a better place to live, to work and to invest in.”

The business community has also welcomed the regional roll out of full fibre broadband.

Angela McGowan, director of CBI Northern Ireland, said: “Until now, too many companies and entrepreneurs in more remote areas have been left behind as the local economy moved online.

“But by ensuring every premises has access to reliable, quality broadband in a short time-frame, we're giving Northern Ireland a competitive advantage which will be the envy of other regions. This investment by the UK Infrastructure Bank is a great vote of confidence in Fibrus and in the NI economy.”

John Flint, chief executive of the UK Infrastructure Bank, added: “I'm pleased we're playing a part in supporting homes and businesses in Northern Ireland to access fast and reliable broadband.”

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