The internet company launched by Welshpool man Mike Harris has landed a multi-million dollar deal to roll out its fibre-optic cable across North America.

SiFi Networks, the fibre-optic network company founded by Mr Harris and Roland Pickstock of the Pickstock Group, has secured an initial £50 million (£41 million) to allow it to expand into more cities, by bringing in more staff and speeding up the roll-out of its fibre-optic FiberCity network.

Up to $400 million (£327 million) will allow it to build new super-fast internet networks across the country.

The money had come from a global investment fund involving APG, a pensions company based in the Netherlands.

“We are excited to have successfully secured this funding which will enable SiFi to capitalise on its position as one of the USA’s leading providers of privately funded open access, city-wide fibre networks delivering high speed broadband to homes and businesses," said Mr Harris, who is also the owner of Oswestry-based football club TNS.

"This injection of capital will kick start the expansion of our business to meet the expected exponential growth in demand for high speed connectivity and enable city rights of way to be efficiently converted to project readiness."

The company builds the networks for internet service providers and mobile phone internet carriers to run their services to homes and businesses.

Fibre-optic cables are considered to be far faster than wire cables for providing high-speed internet. The planned work by SiFi will allow the company to expand its network across the USA, and build in enough room for it to accommodate what is expected to be significant growth in online traffic in the future.

Matteo Andreoletti, head of infrastructure at Whitehelm Capital which manages the pensions company: “SiFi’s unique business model looks set to transform much of the telecoms market in the USA.

"By combining SiFi’s know-how with the long-term investment horizon of the Smart City Infrastructure Fund, we can unlock the societal benefits of modern digital infrastructure, leading to better services to citizens, improved quality of life and sustainable economic growth.”

Mr Harris added;"The need for high speed connectivity has been bought into sharp focus during the COVID-19 pandemic as the demand for reliable internet services has increased to meet the needs of people working or educating their children at home.

“With Gigabit speed up and down, FiberCity networks provide the highest bandwidth and availability compared with traditional providers as well as offering the best customer service.”