Internet Service Provider ACT Fibernet has launched a 1Gbps fiber broadband service in Hyderabad that costs a whopping Rs 5999 per month with an FUP of 1 TeraByte (TB), reports ET. The company said the service will be available for startup and enterprise customers; it is not clear if this is available for home users as well. MediaNama has written to ACT seeking more details. The report added that the high-speed 1Gbps service will be launched in 10 other cities sooner.
— Saranathan (@TRSaranathan) March 30, 2017
ACT pointed out that high-speed gigabit connections will require a minimum PC specification consisting of an “Intel Core i7 processor 2.5Ghz, 8GB of RAM, with a 64-bit OS and 1Gbps LAN/Ethernet port.”
Headquartered in Bangalore, ACT currently provides fiber Internet in 11 cities across India. According to TRAI numbers, ACT is the third largest wired broadband operator in the country with more than 1.12 million subscribers as of December 2016. The first place was held by BSNL with 9.95 million connections. Airtel has 2.04 million subscribers, while Vodafone-owned YOU Broadband had 0.6 million connections.
India’s wired broadband sector is picking up some pace following the launch of Reliance Jio, and especially after the Indian govt allocated Rs 10,000 crore from the 2017-18 budget for deploying high-speed fiber connectivity at villages under BharatNet. Recently, Vodafone received FIPB approval for acquiring 100% stake in YOU Broadband. Rival telcos including Airtel has been expanding its newly launched fiber-based connection across new cities, while Jio is expected to come out with its own set of fiber-to-home service.
ACT is backed by Private Equity (PE) firms like TA Associates and India Value Fund Adviors (IVFA) which had earlier invested around $500 million in the broadband provider back in July 2015. At that time of funding, a VCCircle report pointed out that PE firms hold close to 95% stake in ACT. IVFA currently holds 70% of ACT. The broadband provider had also raised $23 million in form of debt financing from Olympus Capital Asia Credit and Kilimanjaro Credit Fund, in February 2014.
In June the same year, ACT had also acquired an additional 20% stake in Hyderabad-based ISP Beam Telecom, increasing its stake in the company to about 80%. Note that ACT undertook a rebranding exercise back in July 2014, following its acquisition of Beam.