(London) – Aviva Investors, the global asset management business of Aviva plc (‘Aviva’), announces it has provided up to an additional £100 million of funding to rural full-fibre specialists County Broadband.
The deal builds on an initial £46 million investment made by Aviva Investors in 2018 and will enable the Essex-based provider to extend the reach of its fibre-to-the-premises (‘FTTP’) network to rural areas of the East of England, with an ambition to connect half a million homes and businesses by the end of 2027. County Broadband currently supplies over 150 villages across Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, as part of a long-term commitment to improve the digital connectivity across the region.
It is the second such deal completed by Aviva Investors in recent months, having provided up to an additional £100 million of funding Bath-based Truespeed, as part of its roll-out of ultrafast, gigabit-capable full fibre network across the South West of the UK.
Sean McLachlan, Senior Director, Infrastructure Equity at Aviva Investors, said:
“We are pleased to extend Aviva Investors’ partnership with County Broadband following our initial investment, made in 2018. The rollout of fibre to homes and places of work represents a project with high social value and community benefits, particularly as families and businesses settle into hybrid working, where fast and reliable internet connections into the home are increasingly important and relied upon. The additional commitment we have made will enable County Broadband to extend its roll-out to even more communities in the East of England, ensuring those locations are suitably equipped for today’s connected world, whilst also having a positive benefit for our client portfolios.”
Lloyd Felton, founder and chief executive of County Broadband, added:
“We are delighted to announce our follow-on investment from our initial £46m to £100m with Aviva Investors, which reaffirms our continued and successful partnership with the team over the last few years. We are committed to deliver full-fibre, gigabit-capable broadband to thousands more communities, homes and businesses. Building new broadband infrastructure is a complex task and whilst our plans are ambitious, they are grounded in reality as we understand the importance of delivering on the promises we make. As we embark on another exciting phase of growth, we will always retain our 18-year heritage as a proud, local community driven provider.”