nexfibre gets Upp to speed network expansion | Media Investment | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Just weeks after officially switched on its network, full-fibre network provider nexfibre, in partnership with Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), is to acquire East of England fibre operator Upp to increase its footprint by 175,000 premises.
Upp image crop 6Sep2023
Launched in June 2021 and headquartered in Peterborough, Upp describes itself as on a mission to provide next level broadband to the areas of the East of England that need it the most. Over its full-fibre network it offers a range of residential and business packages designed to meet the diverse needs of its customer base covering and connecting over 20 towns and cities including areas such as Boston, Lincoln, Norwich and King’s Lynn.

nexfibre is a joint venture created by InfraVia Capital Partners, Liberty Global and Telefónica, owners of VMO2. The combination of nexfibre and VMO2’s network footprints is designed to see the creation of the UK’s first national-scale challenger to BT Openreach, boosting choice and competition in the market. nexfibre will initially roll out fibre to 5 million homes not currently served by Virgin Media O2’s network by 2026, with the opportunity to expand to an additional 2 million homes.

As a result of the transaction, nexfibre says it will gain a quality regional fibre network with low overlap of the existing Virgin Media O2 footprint and a build engine that will continue expansion in the region. The all-cash acquisition will see Virgin Media O2 initially purchase the provider and carry out integration work, but nexfibre will ultimately fund the acquisition through a back-to-back agreement to buy Upp’s network assets., nexfibre plans to invest more than £350m in the East of England region by 2026 as part of a £4.5bn investment across the country.

Through its access to the nexfibre network, Virgin Media O2 will extend the reach of its gigabit connectivity to more homes. Over the next 12 months Virgin Media O2 will proceed with completing Upp’s build currently in progress; integrating and aligning Upp’s fibre network and systems; and offering Upp customers a wide range of Virgin Media O2 services.

Upp’s existing retail and business customers will be offered a range of Virgin Media O2 services in the coming months, with no service changes occurring in the near term as a result of the transaction.

“Upp is delighted to have been acquired by nexfibre, in partnership with Virgin Media O2, and we are looking forward to continuing the rollout of full fibre in the East of England. It is an important recognition of the scale and quality of the network that we have built, and all the hard work and effort put in over the last two years,” said Upp CEO Drew Ritchie commenting on the deal. “Since we began in early 2021, Upp has grown to deliver the quality, scale and excellence in customer service envisaged from the start. We are all personally very proud of having this recognised by our thousands of customers and through the purchase by industry leaders.”