Macquarie Capital to invest £10m in rural broadband with Voneus
Macquarie Capital, the financial services division of Macquarie Group, is to invest £10 million in rural high-speed broadband business Voneus Limited (Voneus).
Under the terms of the agreement, Macquarie Capital has the ability to invest up to £30 million in phases and the funds will be used to refinance Voneus debt and support the roll out broadband to rural communities across the UK.
“Macquarie Capital’s backing is a huge endorsement of Voneus’ business model and vision, as well as an indication of how much work still needs to be done to connect the many homes and business across the UK that still do not have access to decent broadband services,” said Steve Leighton, CEO of Voneus. “Not only will it help us speed up the rollout of fixed wireless services in hard-to-reach communities, it means that – longer term – we will be able to add full fibre broadband to our portfolio; this will be a complete game-changer for these hitherto neglected areas.”
At present, only 5% of UK homes have access to full fibre infrastructure, Voneus will focus on the 900,000 homes in the UK countryside that do not even have access to high-speed broadband services.
The company uses Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) technology to provide broadband speeds of between 30 to 50Mbps to rural homes and businesses. It delivers a suitable alternative to traditional copper networks that are often used.
Additionally, the company specialises in non-intrusive technology, which has been installed on churches, listed buildings, in natural beauty spots and conservation areas. Thanks to the investment from Macquarie Capital, Voneus intends on delivering up to 1Gbps of connectivity.
“The roll out of superfast and ultrafast broadband has too often focused on the UK’s urban centres – leaving untapped investment requirements in the UK’s rural communities, “added Oliver Bradley, managing director, who led the transaction for Macquarie Capital. “We believe that using Macquarie Capital’s unique principal investment and development expertise there is a significant opportunity to work with Voneus to accelerate the deployment of UK rural broadband, this will help unlock significant economic and social benefits for the UK.”