Next Genus: Rural broadband firm runs out of cash

Fibre optic cables Next Genus used both fibre and wireless to connect people to the net

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The rural broadband firm Next Genus has signalled that it is on the brink of collapse.

On its blog, the company announced that it had failed to find any "viable sources of finance" and would soon cease operations.

The company tried to bring high-speed net services to rural areas by using local champions and private finance.

Rival net firms have stepped in to keep customers connected in some areas, but others have effectively been cut off.

Local action

Next Genus had been using a mixture of fibre cables and wireless to take very high speed broadband (10-60 megabits per second) to some parts of the UK that would struggle to get it any other way.

It provided marketing materials and support to locals to help them generate interest in getting the high-speed service and, once enough people had committed, began putting infrastructure in place to serve them.

The service had proved popular in parts of Cumbria, Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire, where significant numbers of customers had signed up.

Many were cut off this week when the company revealed that there was "no realistic prospect" of it finding enough money to pay its creditors.

In Hull and East Yorkshire, rival Quickline stepped in to keep net connections running - as did ISP KCom in Hull.

In Cumbria, Next Genus's service was briefly stopped then restarted as talks began with a potential investor. It said it was working to find purchasers for other parts of its network.

Next Genus has not answered any requests for comment.

Its blog said that: "Customers will be receiving an email in the near future giving more information."

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