U.K.’s Freedom Fibre snags more funding, taps DZS to boost build

fiber deployment
By mid-2022, Freedom Fibre expects to reach a total of 50,000 homes. (gabort71/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

New U.K. wholesale provider Freedom Fibre set fresh deployment targets after securing a second batch of funding and teamed with vendor DZS as it presses toward a goal of delivering gigabit connectivity to more than 100,000 TalkTalk subscribers. 

Launched in March, Freedom Fibre is currently working to provide wholesale gigabit connectivity for TalkTalk, having signed an agreement with the tier-1 service provider earlier this year.

An initial project sought to push full fiber-to-the-premises to 5,000 homes in the city of Culcheth. Freedom Fibre said in a press release that project is nearing completion and it is on track to grow its deployment to 12,000 homes in and around Culcheth by the end of 2021. Additional towns set to be covered include Croft, Glazebury, Winwick and Weaverham.

Details about its latest infusion of funding were scarce but the company said it expects to exit the year with £30 million (approximately $41.3 million) of capital and by mid-2022 reach a total of 50,000 homes. It said it anticipates receiving “further scale funding” to fuel builds from mid-2022 onward.

A separate press release from vendor DZS hinted at Freedom Fibre’s plans for additional growth. DZS stated it is supplying GPON and XGS-PON access and edge products to the operator for an 18-month greenfield build which ultimately aims to connect more than 130,000 TalkTalk subscribers in northwest England.

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Charlie Vogt, president and CEO of DZS, said in a statement the “combination of DZS technology and Freedom Fibre expertise is a win-win for TalkTalk and its residential subscribers, who will benefit from greatly improved connectivity and exceptional reliability.” He added Freedom Fibre’s “innovative, future-proof FTTx architecture” will drive “efficiency while enhancing quality, cost-effectiveness and value, whatever the bandwidth requirements.”

Freedom Fibre is one of many players working to serve up fiber in the U.K. Notable rivals include BT’s Openreach, which is aiming to deliver fiber to 25 million homes by 2026.