After securing a further 25m euros (£18m) from the European Investment Bank (EIB) ultrafast broadband supplier Gigaclear is set for further expansion into rural areas of the UK.
Gigaclear celebrated its fifth anniversary in December 2015 and has already passed 15,000 rural properties with fibre-to-the-premises services in Berkshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
In 2015 it became the first service provider, other than BT, to be awarded contracts under the government's Broadband Delivery UK programme (BDUK).
The firm aims to pass a further 40,000 homes and businesses this year.
Matthew Hare, Gigaclear's chief executive, said: "This level of support is a ringing endorsement of Gigaclear as a business.
"EIB clearly has faith in our model and vision. It can see our own commitment to invest and how effectively we are already providing next-generation infrastructure for the UK's rural economy and communities.
"We are transforming lives and businesses, giving people access to the fastest internet speeds to be found anywhere in the world and technologically future-proofing these rural communities for years to come."
Hare believes 1.5 million properties around the country could benefit from Gigaclear's service.
He added: "We want to reach those people as quickly as possible, but we are a capital-intensive business.
"So this loan is a landmark moment for us and an important next step in our expansion strategy".
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