A new telecommunications infrastructure company has detailed a £ 1 billion plan to build a fiber-optic network covering one million properties in the east of England by 2025.
Upp says he has already secured the necessary funding and regulatory approval for the project and has already started construction work in Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
The LetterOne investment group, which also owns a stake in Holland & Barrett, is a notable funder, while the management team includes former EE CMO Pippa Dunn and former NTT CEO Jason Goodall.
The company believes its network will provide more choice for consumers and businesses who have become increasingly dependent on connectivity for work, education and entertainment during the pandemic, but who may not have access to the speeds. the fastest.
Openreach has pledged to cover 25 million premises by 2026, while Virgin Media’s gigabit speeds will be available for more than 15 million properties by the end of the year. Meanwhile, CityFibre is billing itself as a third national network, with a commitment to reach eight million by 2025, and several other “altnets” are also building infrastructure.
Greater fiber availability and greater competition among infrastructure providers are expected to translate into better home broadband services and superior 5G networks. By targeting a specific region of the country that it believes is underserved, Upp hopes to increase competition with the promise of affordable fiber connectivity at a time when faster, reliable broadband is a popular commodity.
In order to improve economics and speed of deployment, Upp will use Ofcom legislation that allows it to use Openreach’s conduits and surveys, while it is also expected to use assets from other infrastructure owners to minimize traffic disruption.
“I am delighted to lead such a talented, dedicated and experienced team,” said Drew Ritchie, CEO of Upp and previously COO of altnet Gigaclear. “We are delighted to partner with an investor who not only matches our passion and ambition for the opportunity, but who is committed to growing the UK’s digital infrastructure. I’m delighted to say that LetterOne has more than met these criteria, supporting the company with substantial funding that allows us to focus on delivering next-level broadband to the communities that need it most.