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26 April, 2022 - 10:19 By Tony Quested

BDB Pitmans helps County Broadband hook £100m for full-fibre rollout

Law firm BDB Pitmans, which is growing its Cambridge base, has helped regional internet service provider County Broadband secure £100 million of private investment money from Aviva Investors. 

The cash haul will enable County Broadband to extend its full-fibre rollout to 500,000 premises across rural communities in the East of England by 2027.

BDB Pitmans first acted for County Broadband in connection with a transformational investment of £46m from Aviva Investors provided through the company’s infrastructure equity platform in 2018.

Essex-based County Broadband, already delivers fibre-to-the-premises broadband to over 150 villages across Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, and Cambridgeshire.

It specialises in supporting rural communities to upgrade existing and inadequate broadband infrastructure to gigabit-capable full-fibre broadband connectivity. This is crucial to keep up with the demands that families and businesses have for fast, reliable internet that FTTP technology is able to provide.

The private investment is set to accelerate County Broadband’s expansion strategy allowing the business to service thousands of homes in hardest-to-reach rural areas in the East of England as part of a long-term commitment to digitally future-proof the region and help achieve Government-led targets to secure 85 per cent full-fibre broadband coverage UK-wide by 2030.

The funding has also enabled County Broadband to unveil plans to invest in the local communities it serves, including contracts with local build contractors, onboarding of regional suppliers and double its existing workforce to more than 250 people. This includes investment in local skills and apprentices.

The BDB team acting on the transaction was led by corporate partners Philip Lamb and Robert Chidley.

Lamb said: “As a long-standing client of BDB Pitmans we were delighted to help County Broadband secure its second tranche of investment funding. The pandemic has made fibre connectivity a priority; with hybrid working, entertainment streaming and gaming more popular than ever, consumer appetite is at an all-time high.

“We have no doubt the provider will achieve its ambitious target and positively transform the lives of half a million homes and businesses by the end of 2027.”

Lloyd Felton, founder and chief executive of County Broadband, added: “This latest investment reaffirms our continued and successful partnership with the Aviva Investors team over the last few years. 

“We are committed to delivering 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.”

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