£25m funding boost for broadband provider 4th Utility

Funding | North West
Mark Cueto (Sales Director), Tony Hughes (CEO), Neil Marvell (DIF, Senior Director), Nicola Beamish (CFO), Jeremy Gray (CIO), Jimmy Acton (CTO)

Fibre broadband provider 4th Utility has secured £25m in investment from DIF Capital Partners as it prepares to embark on another period of growth and bring ultra-fast fibre broadband to more homes in the UK.

The funding from DIF Capital Partners represents a long-term investment and a new partnership, with the capital being used to scale up the rollout of commercial grade fibre broadband to more residential properties.

Greater Manchester-based 4th Utility has its own last mile fibre optic network – capable of delivering ultrafast broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps – and will use this to deliver new, ultra-fast broadband connections.

Typically, new customers are online within 60 seconds of signing up to the service, compared to the usual five working days offered by other providers where engineers are often required to activate the service.

Tony Hughes, CEO at 4th Utility, said: “The partnership with DIF Capital Partners is a significant milestone for our business and gives us a fantastic platform to deliver ultrafast internet access to many more properties across the UK.

“The team at DIF share our desire to invest in high-quality fibre infrastructure and our ambition is to use this funding to become one of the leading broadband providers in the UK, ensuring thousands of new customers can benefit from full fibre connectivity.”

Chief technology officer at 4th Utility, Jimmy Acton added: “We are passionate about the customer journey and in the same way Uber changed booking a taxi, we’ve replicated that for residential fibre broadband.

“When you move into a new home you would expect that all of the utilities work straight away. We very much see broadband as the essential fourth utility, so we’ve created a solution that means super-fast full fibre broadband can be ready to go from day one. Our tech stack is built, it’s already live in hundreds of homes and now we’re ready to expand with this new funding in place.”

A broadband pledge formed a major part of the Conservatives’ election manifesto at the end of 2019 and earlier this year, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the government would pump £5bn into its plan to roll out full-fibre broadband across the UK.

As well as domestic installations, 4th Utility also partners with residential and commercial landlords, property developers and house builders to design, install and upgrade their properties with state-of-the-art FTTP infrastructure, bringing homes a future proof standard of connectivity.

Willem Jansonius, Head of DIF Capital Partners, said: “We are pleased to bring our experience in digital infrastructure to support 4th Utility and their management team in delivering FTTP infrastructure investment to underserved properties in the UK.”

Property developers including The McGoff Group, Crest Nicholson, David Wilson Homes and Fortis Group are among those to have already agreed broadband partnerships with 4th Utility. The company also has former British & Irish Lion, England and Sale Sharks winger Mark Cueto MBE leading business development as Sales Director.

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