Expert Call: Broadband to the masses
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought two potential catalysts to the UK’s fast-broadband infrastructure sector. A greater tailwind of Government support, and the potential for heightened consumer demand as we’ve all begun to appreciate the failings of our home broadband services. In the March budget, the government reiterated its pledge of £5 billion, earmarked for ‘gigabit-capable broadband in the hardest to reach places'. We were delighted to be joined by CEOs of three of the leading companies making that happen.
Andrew Walwyn, Co-founder and CEO - BigBlu Broadband plc
BBB is a broadband provider that delivers super-fast broadband using alternative technologies to homes and businesses that are unserved or underserved by fibre. The business has grown exponentially. Focused initially on a core capability in satellite broadband, the company is now the largest satellite broadband ISP outside North America and the 4th largest in the world. However, for some time now the business has been technology agnostic delivering alternative broadband using satellite and ultra-fast fixed wireless. With circa 110,000 customers across 30 countries, bigblu is the world’s largest multi territory alternative broadband service provider connecting consumers, businesses and governments to superfast broadband via satellite and fixed wireless.
Matthew Hare OBE, Founder and CEO - Zzoomm
Zzoomm was founded by Matthew in December 2018, to bring full fibre to homes and businesses across the UK. Zzoomm commenced building in Henley-on-Thames in September 2019 and connected their first customers in January 2020 and aim to complete their build there in the next few months. Matthew is a veteran of the UK fibre infrastructure industry. He founded rural full fibre operator Gigaclear PLC in 2010. Matthew was Chief Executive until the takeover by Infracapital in 2018 when he stepped down. During 2018, Matthew was recognised for his contribution to the development of full fibre networks with the award of European Fibre Executive of the Year, an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours and UK Internet Services Executive of the Year 2018.
Steve Leighton, CEO - Voneus
Backed by Macquarie Capital, rural broadband specialists Voneus focus on bringing superfast and ultrafast services direct to homes and companies in rural communities across the UK. Voneus uses wireless technology to get a communities on-line quickly before following up with their own fibre to the premise service when strong levels of penetration are achieved. Every rural community is different so every broadband solution is bespoke.
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