Yorkshire business secures “lifechanging” broadband investment for rural expansion
Specialist, broadband provider Quickline Communications Ltd has acquired funds to bring full-fibre and 5G technology to 500,000 premises in rural Britain.
Northleaf Capital Partners, a global private markets investment firm headquartered in Toronto, have bought a majority share in Quickline’s holding company, QCL Holdings Ltd.
Quickline’s management team, as well as Bigblu Broadband (AIM: BBB.L) and Harwood Capital have retained minority stakes in the company.
Quickline is working alongside local authorities and UK Government to help remote communities, with subsidies providing much-needed assistance in the promotion of large-scale investment in gigabit-capable networks. Quickline is currently upgrading digital infrastructures across North Lincolnshire, Lincolnshire, West and North Yorkshire.
The acquisition enables Quickline’s strategy to invest more than £500m in ultrafast and gigabit-capable broadband connectivity in rural Northern England. New 5G capabilities will be a first of its kind in the UK, with the start of a large-scale, full fibre rollout to complement this in remote areas.
To reduce the digital divide, Quickline will use an innovative hybrid approach of utilising 5G and a fibre to the premise (“FTTP”) network for a cost effective, technical solution. This has enabled Quickline to secure four multi-million-pound Building Digital UK (BDUK) contracts to supply next-generation internet access in remote places.
Sean Royce, CEO, of Quickline said: “This is a major turning point in Quickline’s history and sets us even further apart from other ultrafast broadband providers.
“Receiving this kind of investment from Northleaf provides us with the ability to supply life-changing gigabit-capable broadband to hundreds of thousands of rural customers that previously were unable to access the internet at speed. We look forward to working alongside Northleaf to create this unique hybrid next-generation network, provide hundreds of jobs and build a business that provides new breakthroughs in internet connectivity for broadband users in remote pockets of the UK.”
Roderick Gadsby, UK and Europe head of infrastructure, Northleaf said: “We are delighted that the acquisition has been successfully completed. Quickline is an excellent fit with our communications infrastructure investment strategy and offers our investors exposure to an attractive and growing sector.
“The evolution of the industry is being led by the likes of Quickline, which has experienced rapid growth in recent years. Quickline plans to utilise both full fibre and 5G fixed wireless technologies to accelerate the deployment of gigabit-capable broadband in remote UK regions which will provide critical infrastructure to rural communities in its target markets.”
Cllr Don Mackenzie, at North Yorkshire County Council, which established its own high-speed internet service provider NYnet in 2007, added: “We are committed to continuing to bring access to superfast broadband for our residents and businesses across North Yorkshire with our SFNY project. The latest phase of the programme being delivered by Quickline is vital as we extend connectivity to more premises in the most rural areas of the county.”
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