Approximately 5% of our portfolio is invested in fiber and fixed- wireless infrastructure for residential and commercial use, including projects in Canada, the UK, Finland and France.
We believe broadband internet access now sits alongside electricity and water as a core utility, and DIF investments are paving the way for million more people to gain access to quality broadband. It is an infrastructure that is changing how work gets done, reducing the need to travel and catalysing more energy efficient lifestyles from smart heating systems, to tele medicine and home schooling.
Fiber networks serve as a key piece of infrastructure for faster, more reliable internet access – making a significant contribution to both economic development and the low carbon transition. Benefits emerging from some of our fiber projects include:
- Enabling more home working – Projects such as ADTIM in France and Adola in Finland are bringing high quality telecomms to historically underserved communities. This is enabling more flexible working which is proving so vital in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as healthcare provision over the internet, bringing online learning to previously excluded pupils and helping the elderly connect with their families.
- Job creation – Just two projects, IELO and Valley Fiber, have created, or are creating, over 340 jobs directly, including laying networks and fixing wireless towers. These catalyse many more indirect jobs by connecting businesses and local people to the digital marketplace.
- Reducing energy consumption – Fiber uses up to twelve times less energy than the copper required for DSL and cable Internet. It also serves as key piece of infrastructure for enabling the ‘internet of things’, a digital future where devices can automatically connect to drive energy efficiency savings estimated by McKinsey to be worth $64 billion.
- Biodiversity conservation – Fiber has a minimal impact on nature. It is primarily made of glass from naturally occurring silicon found in sand, clay, rocks – avoiding the need for often-harmful copper mining.
“Fiber networks might well prove to be the most impactful of all infrastructure investments. They are catalysing more sustainable ways of working, transforming homes and communities and are the fundamental bridge to a greener digital future.”
Head of ESG, DIF Capital Partners