While the launch of Digital Infrastructure caused quite a stir when the brand – and its sister company, Internet Service Provider BeFibre – fully hit the market in 2022, the altnet’s story had actually begun the previous year.
With access to £100m of private funding from Basalt Infrastructure Partners, Digital Infrastructure’s goal was to be a new generation network operator on a mission to deliver full fibre connectivity to approximately 1 million premises, by 2027. And headline after headline was soon published, detailing the intricacies of the firm’s symmetrical network, which promises download and upload speeds up to 13 times faster than the UK’s more commonplace fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) coverage*.
Agility is core to Digital Infrastructure’s ambitious plans to future-proof the UK’s connectivity and build a brand-new network that will leave a positive legacy in society. So, when it came to securing an outsourced legal partner who could deliver commercially robust, sector-specific expertise, the team contacted Trenches Law.
Appointed in the summer of 2021 when Digital Infrastructure’s business journey was only just beginning, Trenches Law became the altnet’s retained legal counsel. Responsible for everything from contracts to privacy policies, the negotiation of T&Cs, and anything else which falls under the commercial law umbrella, Trenches Law quickly became embedded within the Digital Infrastructure team.
“Sharon McDermott has long been recognised in the telecoms industry as a true expert in this quite unique environment,” commented Digital Infrastructure’s Chief Customer and Operations Officer, Louise Elliott. “She’s taken her own passion for both the sector and her profession, and productised it, so that Trenches Law is now a widely respected brand. They understand that this world moves at pace but is sometimes rich with challenges. They’re exactly the people we need as an extension of our team.”
Commenting on the responsiveness of Trenches Law’s service, Louise added: “We have a fluid working relationship which is imperative in this fast-moving space. If we get in touch and outline our timeframes, the team responds effectively – they also understand the gravitas of the work, but are personable, rather than corporate, in their approach.
“Their industry-specific knowledge means they remain relevant too, which counts for a lot when it comes to making informed decisions on our behalf.”
At the turn of 2022, Digital Infrastructure also began investing in Trenches Law’s wayleave support, to help accelerate the firm’s network roll-out and proactively overcome some of the challenges that notoriously delay build programmes. Steps are now being taken to deploy their automation services for added efficiencies.
Digital Infrastructure was also an early adopter of Trenches’ surveying service, having led on the beta project prior to launch. This will progress to Trenches Law providing an end-to-end turnkey service to achieve earlier penetration rates for MDUs, in the near future.
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*All references to BeFibre’s broadband speeds, depend on customers being able to access ‘superfast’ type broadband services of 70Mbps (or less) and selecting one of BeFibre’s packages at the advertised speed. Speeds shown may be affected based on the placement of the router in customers’ homes or the device they are using. Reference in relation to 13x faster speeds: Ofcom Connected Nations Update – Summer 2021