Fibrus, Northern Ireland’s full fibre broadband company, has secured £220m from a consortium of banks including the UK Infrastructure Bank, to fund the company’s rollout in Northern Ireland where it is investing £0.5bn to reach 330,000 previously underserved homes.
Fibrus is committed to delivering world-class broadband services to rural and regional areas of NI and its network has already reached over 120,000 homes and businesses. The increase in speed and access to full fibre broadband will position Northern Ireland 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 Northern Ireland executive scheme which has provided £197m to boost rural broadband connections. Colin Hutchinson, chief financial officer with Fibrus, welcomed the funding partnership. “We are very well aware of the importance of high-speed broadband across Northern Ireland and with every connection we make, we are making lives better,” he said.
“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 are improving lives, connecting communities and growing the economy. We are making Northern Ireland a better place to live, to work and to invest in,” said Hutchinson.
The business community in Northern Ireland has welcomed the regional roll out of full-fibre broadband. Angela McGowan, director of CBI Northern Ireland, said, “Up to now, too many companies and entrepreneurs in more remote areas of Northern Ireland have been left behind as the economy moved online. By ensuring that every premises has access to reliable, quality broadband in a short timeframe, we are 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.”