SNIB adds £20m funding boost to Lothian Broadband Group
Internet Service Provider Lothian Broadband has announced that it has received £20 million in funding from the Scottish National Investment Bank (SNIB). The investment will provide a boost for its Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) rollout across rural communities and small towns in Scotland.
The funding means that Lothian Broadband can now more than double its workforce and extend its FTTP network to 70,000 premises from an initial 50,000.
A statement from SNIB stated: “LBG is already investing to deliver full-fibre broadband across East Lothian. Today’s announcement signals an expansion of LBG’s geographic ambitions, with funding now secured to drive further operational scale-up and rapidly accelerate fibre deployment in 2022."
“Digital inequality has been heightened during the pandemic, and the Bank will be supporting a strong and experienced management team to roll out a future-proofed broadband network to tens of thousands of households and businesses who would otherwise be waiting years before receiving a gigabit-capable broadband service.”
One of the main aims of Lothian Broadband’s expansion is to “help tackle digital inequality in rural communities and small towns”
Eilidh Mactaggart, chief executive of SNIB, said: “The Bank’s investment provides the cornerstone funding required for LBG to rapidly accelerate its operational scale-up and fibre deployment in 2022. This investment will support the improvement of digital connectivity in rural and semi-rural areas of Scotland, helping to address inequality of access to digital infrastructure outside of our cities and major towns.”
Shareholders of Lothian Broadband will now boost the project with a further £5 million in funding as part of the ISP’s plans to spend £75 million on the rollout of its network over the next four years.
Gavin Rodgers, CEO, Lothian Broadband, said: “The backing of the Scottish National Investment Bank enables us to continue our rapid scale-up as we establish the leading fibre-to-the-premise deployment platform for rural communities and small towns across Scotland.”