Brillband, the ‘world’s first’ app-based broadband provider, set for UK launch

Duncan Di Biase, CEO of Brillband

Brillband, the ‘world’s first’ app-based broadband provider, is set for launch in the UK in July following a £660,000 fundraising round backed by London-based venture capitalists Fuel Ventures, as well as private investment from renowned bankers and industry experts.

The £3 million-valued challenger brand – described as ‘Starling Bank for the broadband industry’ – features app-based technology specifically designed for full-fibre networks that enables users to run their entire broadband service from their mobile phone or tablet device.

The patent-pending software technology uses the direct connection between the provider and customer to enable the service to build individual usage profiles which automatically optimise the service according to how it’s used, for example, for gaming, streaming, working from home, or downloading content.

The state-of-the-art service is the brainchild of entrepreneur and Brillband CEO Duncan Di Biase, who set out to disrupt the sector after becoming infuriated by substandard services offered by major broadband players ‘focused more on profit than the people using them’.

With the average UK home already estimated to contain more than 10 connected devices – which industry experts predict will rise to more than 50 as early as next year – Di Biase built Brillband on the principle that connectivity is a 21st Century commodity on a par with electricity and water in its significance, yet it is still seen as a luxury by many.

Di Biase, serial entrepreneur, business development expert and Co-founder of investment consultancy Raising Partners, said: “Connectivity is one of the most important commodities in our lives yet too many people have accepted substandard service from existing providers that aren’t set up to meet their needs. People pay exorbitant fees for speeds they don’t receive, and it amazes me that nobody seems to question it.

“They wouldn’t accept it from any other service, so why should they put up with it for their broadband? I was sick of endless calls to customer service lines, frequent dropouts, speeds that don’t represent what’s being paid for usually at rates far in excess of what new customers receive. I just thought – there must be a better way.

“Brillband’s technology is what sets us apart. To our knowledge it’s a world-first – nobody else has it or can copy it – and its beauty lies in its simplicity. It removes the obstacles that so many people associate with broadband providers, but it’s only there when people need it. It takes the friction out of broadband.”

Brillband’s technology has been developed by some of the brightest brains in broadband, including Chief Technology Officer Justin Fielder, a former Sky Network Director whose successes include building Sky Broadband.

It will initially operate on the CityFibre network, although the software technology has the capability to be plugged into any fibre broadband network in the world – scalability that has attracted backing from Fuel Ventures, the leading early-stage VC firm.

Brillband will be initially rolled out to a test group of hundreds of app and network customers across Glasgow and Renfrewshire later this year and aims to have 10,000 customers and a team of 20 by the end of 2023, rising to 40,000 customers by the end of 2024. Mr Di Biase estimates the firm will have 120,000 customers by 2025. Vodafone is currently the fifth largest broadband provider in the UK with one million customers.

Di Biase chose Scotland as the launchpad for Brillband after falling in love with the country when moving to Glasgow with partner Helena Murphy, also an entrepreneur and investor. He said the warmth and approachability of Scots was exactly what he wanted to build his team around.

Di Biase concluded: “The potential is limitless. We can be incredibly agile. We can go after any city in the world with what will be a tried and tested proven method. We can utilise any privately owned Full Fibre network enabling us to take Brillband to any city in the world where a network exists. I genuinely want Brillband to become Europe’s most loved broadband provider – but it all starts here in Scotland. It would be impossible for an incumbent to do what we’re doing.”