Full fibre startup Toob gets £75 million boost from FTTP fund

Full fibre startup Toob gets £75 million boost from FTTP fund

Portsmouth-based infrastructure startup Toob has announced it has secured £75 million of funding to help it develop a full fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) network, with a goal of reaching 100,000 properties by 2021 and a million homes and businesses by 2029.

The firm is backed by investment from Amber Infrastructure’s National Digital Infrastructure Fund (NDIF), which has been set up specifically to help kick-start more full fibre rollouts and encourage more commercial backers to get involved with the rollout of this technology.

While managed on a commercial basis by Amber Infrastructure, the NDIF is also partly backed by the government’s Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund (DIIF) initiative, which has pumped £400 million of public money into the project.

Toob chief executive Nick Parbutt said the investment means the startup now has the right funding, the right people and the right plan to capitalise on the opportunity afforded by full fibre connectivity. 

He added: "We want to enable families, businesses and communities to live, work and play in ways which are only made possible with the advent of gigabit broadband."

The company, which was granted permission to conduct fibre rollouts earlier this month, is run by two former Vodafone directors and has also appointed former Gigaclear chairman Charles McGregor to help drive its expansion plans.

It will also look to take advantage of new duct and pole access arrangements set to be put in place by Openreach to speed up the pace of its FTTP deployments.

Commenting on the new funding, Matthew Vickerstaff, interim chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said it demonstrates how the NDIF "continues to help companies improve broadband speeds across cities and towns in the UK, by increasing their access to private finance".

He added: "Upgrading our digital infrastructure to be reliable, sustainable and resilient is key to meeting the needs of an increasingly digital world, and increasing our productivity."