The EIB will lend up to PLN 325 million (€73 million) for a project to develop fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure in five Polish regions
Around 530 000 households and 1 400 schools will be connected thanks to the EIB loan
The project is guaranteed under the European Fund for Strategic Investments
Lower population density areas in Poland will gain a better internet connection and access thanks to the deployment of very high capacity network broadband services under a project financed by the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The EU bank has agreed to lend up to PLN 325 million (approximately €73 million) to Nexera to finance the rollout of a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) access network in less densely populated areas of five Polish regions, or voivodeships (Warminsko-Mazurskie, Kujawsko-Pomorskie, Mazowieckie, Lodzkie and Swietokrzyskie). These regions are located in central and north-eastern Poland.
The project is backed by a guarantee from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the financial pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. Nexera will also benefit from national and EU public subsidies, awarded to it following the Digital Poland contest, or Program Operacyjny Polska Cyfrowa (POPC), for the provision of co-financing for the design, construction and operation of FTTH networks in Poland. The subsidies will be used to partially fund the required investments.
Nexera is a vehicle majority owned by the infrastructure fund Infracapital. The EIB loan is part of a wider financing effort totalling PLN 1.010 billion (approximately €227 million), with the participation of other senior lenders (BGK, ING, PKO BP and Santander).
In terms of the final scope, Nexera plans to deploy a FTTH network that will pass more than 700 000 addresses including households, businesses and schools in the five regions by 2025, including in relation to the POPC. In this context, it is estimated that the EIB loan will help Nexera to connect around 530 000 households and 1 400 schools by 2023.
EIB Vice-President Teresa Czerwińska, who oversees EIB activities in Poland, said: “This project will contribute to reducing the gap between Poland and the rest of the European Union in terms of regular and ultrafast broadband coverage. The EIB identifies the green and digital twin transitions as key areas of investment in order to ensure a sound recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic. We are pleased in particular to support Nexera in its effort to deploy modern connectivity in less densely populated areas of Poland. Enhancing and democratising digitalisation is also a way to strengthen cohesion in Europe.”
Paweł Hordyński, Nexera CFO, said: “Nexera is a relatively small regional organisation of slightly over 20 people but the secured debt financing puts us among the largest companies in the country. This is definitely a success story in the Polish market and we emerge as a reliable organisation with enormous potential backed by leading financial institutions.”
“Our success is founded on a robust business plan, realistic and effective corporate strategy and innovative ways of working in our organisation that are part of the agility model that has largely become a benchmark for other operators in the market,” adds Jacek Wiśniewski, Nexera CEO.
European Commissioner for the Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “I welcome this financing agreement between the EIB and Nexera, which is backed by the Investment Plan for Europe. It will help provide a better internet connection to many households, schools and businesses in less populated areas. This is great news for Poland’s digital transition and the connectivity of its citizens.”
In 2020, the EIB Group provided €5.2 billion in financing to projects in Poland.
The Investment Plan for Europe was launched in November 2014 to reverse the downward trend in investment levels and put Europe on the path to economic recovery. Its innovative approach based on the use of an EU budget guarantee provided to the EIB Group has enabled and continues to enable substantial public and private sector funds to be mobilised for investment into strategic sectors of the European economy. The Investment Plan for Europe has so far mobilised €546.5 billion of investment, of which around €21 billion in Poland, and supported more than 1.4 million startups and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Europe. Find the latest EFSI figures by sector and by country here.
NEXERA is Poland’s first exclusively wholesale telecommunications operator developing a large-scale fibre-optic access network (NGA) of high throughput (minimum 100 Mb/s). The shareholders of NEXERA are companies with long-standing experience in the global telecommunications market: Infracapital and Nokia. NEXERA is building an optical fibre network in 20 areas of central and north-eastern Poland on the basis of the Digital Poland Operational Programme (POPC). The programme aims to eliminate those places in the country that do not have access to very fast internet and to counteract the digital exclusion of EU citizens. Ultimately, thanks to the POPC funding and the implementation of its own projects, NEXERA's cutting-edge fibre-optic network will cover 1 million households as well as 3 000 schools and educational units.
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