The Northern Ireland fibre broadband firm founded by a former National Broadband Plan executive has won a £108m (€125.2m) deal to roll out state-subsidised broadband in northern England.
he contract, with the British government, will see Conal Henry’s Fibrus paid to roll out fibre broadband to 60,000 premises in Cumbria, an area in the north west of England which borders Scotland.
It’s the biggest single taxpayer-backed chunk of Britain’s £5bn ‘Project Gigabit, launched to provide high speed internet in rural areas.
Earlier this year, Fibrus announced £220m (€255m) in investment funding from the UK Infrastructure Bank. The Northern Ireland Executive has invested almost £200m of public money into the scheme, which aims to connect 330,000 Northern Irish homes outside commercial operators’ high-speed network.
Fibrus was co-founded by Mr Henry and CEO Dominic Kearns.
“Winning this contract to connect Cumbria extends the Fibrus investment plan to 700,000 homes and £700m and sets us on the road to being central to national digital infrastructure,” said Mr Kearns.
“Fibrus has already created over 350 jobs and will invest over £500m in their mission to transform the digital infrastructure by bringing hyperfast, full fibre broadband to rural homes and businesses in towns and villages across the UK.”
He said that 210,000 homes have been passed across Northern Ireland and Cumbria to date, with Fibrus “on target” to pass 250,000 homes by March 2023. In Cumbria, the Fibrus broadband rollout delivered under its the subsidised Project Gigabit funding will be use the company’s ‘Hyperfast’ brand.