Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

UK's Arqiva secures $323 million in EIB funding to aid smart meter rollout

Iain Morris
July 29, 2014
 
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to provide £190 million ($323 million) in funding towards the deployment of smart meters and other communications infrastructure in the UK.

The financing has been secured by UK communications company Arqiva (Winchester, UK), which emerged as one of the main winners – along with Spain’s Telefonica (Madrid) – in the UK’s smart grid tender last year, snapping up contracts covering the north of the country and thought to be worth about £625 million over 15 years.

Arqiva is to invest the EIB funds in the rollout of smart meters in the north of England and Scotland as well as on the expansion of digital radio and Wi-Fi connectivity.

“Arqiva is central to the way people and businesses use technology every day,” said Phil Moses, Arqiva’s chief financial officer. “Reliability and security of our infrastructure is core to our ability to meet the increasing demands for this digital connectivity.”

“The investment by the EIB affords us this long-term commitment to connectivity for everyone,” he added.

The EIB said the investments being made by Arqiva would help to reduce energy bills through national use of smart meters.

“This investment builds on the EIB’s past engagement to support telecoms across Europe,” said Jonathan Taylor, the EIB’s vice president.

The EIB claims to have provided more than €2 billion ($2.7 billion) in long-term loans to support investment in European communications infrastructure over the last five years.

The UK government wants smart meters to be installed in all homes and businesses in the country by 2020.

During a tender for the deployment of smart meters held in August 2014, Arqiva and Telefonica won so-called communications service provider contracts valued at more than £2 billion.

While Arqiva’s contracts covered the north of the UK, Telefonica won deals to provide smart meters in southern and central regions of the country.
 
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