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alternative isp, glide, strengthens it's market position with acquisition of csp.

ISP Glide acquires Concept Solutions People (CSP) fibre network builder

Glide, which has built a national full fibre network connecting 100,000 premises, has acquired CSP for an undisclosed sum. CSP builds bespoke fibre networks for universities, data centres, councils and ISPs.

The acquisition will strengthen Glide's position as an alternative ISP that claims to 'empower and connect' people and networks across Europe, including services for universities and building consultants, SMEs, business site managers and letting agents.

Glide Fibre

Founded in 2010 by Steve Ives and Dave Bowler, CSP claims to have already built over 100 kms of owned duct network covering 27 locations. The firm will be renamed and known as Glide Fibre and will join the Glide core network, enabling the parent company to provide Glide Gigabit services designed to meet any business requirements.

In 2019 CSP gained access to 173km of network through a licencing agreement with Openreach. This allowed CSP to lay its own cable in Openreach ducts, reducing the costs of installation. CSP has already provided bespoke dark fibre networks for the Universities of Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leicester and Aberystwyth as well as creating open access fibre optic networks for Birmingham, Newport and the London borough of Newham.

In 2012 it developed a dark fibre network for The Mayor's Newham Show that showcased CSP's ability to design fibre solutions to meet the high bandwidth demands of High Definition CCTV and Big Screen Event technology. Its work with CenturyLink highlights its ability to deploy future-proofed and cost-effective fibre optic infrastructure in an environmentally sustainable way.

The move follows the 2020 acquisition of the Glide Group by Alinda Capital Partners (ACP), an American infrastructure investment firm. ACP is reported to have paid around £200m, for Glide which has operations in Ireland, Spain and Italy as well as the UK.

Further and faster

Speaking about the acquisition, Tim Pilcher, CEO of Glide Group, said that CSP was clearly the right partner to help Glide grow and deliver its existing network further and faster than they could do alone.

He praised Ives and Bowler for their wealth of knowledge and experience, adding that it was invaluable to Glide's ambitions to build fibre networks in hard to reach and difficult to serve areas across the country.

Pilcher said that ACP has a reputation for investing in asset rich infrastructure providing lasting returns for 20-30 years, and that CSP was a good fit with their investment criteria.

Steve Ives, CSP founder, said they were pleased to be a part of Glide Fibre to build and extend their network. The two firms shared a commitment to building high quality, high capacity networks across the UK, he said, and he was pleased that CSP's networks would now be part of the Glide Fibre vision.

His partner Dave Bowler commented that CSP had been astounded at the close fit between their company and Glide, and that the synergies between the two were clear to see. As a small business, he said that CSP had been looking to scale and Glide was a company that had proven ability to scale.

Grant Thornton and Addleshaw Goddard advised Glide on the transaction while Clarion and Parsons advised CSP.

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