top of page

ARTICLE: Unlocking Private Investment in Digital Infrastructure - Lessons Learned

Intelligens Consulting is a trailblazer in implementing the Anchor Tenant model, an innovative approach that unlocks significant private investment in fibre or digital connectivity for local authorities. Since its inception in 2019, this approach has attracted hundreds of millions of private sector investment, prompting many local authorities to seek support from Intelligens Consulting for their digital transformation endeavours. This article outlines the key lessons learned and how local authorities can rapidly unlock maximum private investment in fibre and digital infrastructure.

Unlocking Remarkable Financial Benefits and Economic Returns

The Anchor Tenant model has delivered remarkable financial benefits for our clients, with private investment reaching up to 27 times their initial capital investment. Such levels of investment would not have been possible or be available to local authorities through traditional means. Additionally, these initiatives have yielded impressive economic returns, generating up to GBP 2.5 billion. This infusion of capital has paved the way for significant digital transformation, empowering local authorities to enhance services, drive economic growth, and create social impact for the people who live, work, learn, travel, and invest in the region.

Secrets to Unlocking Maximum Private Investment

Below we outline the five key lessons learned we have learned through our experience, and how local authorities can rapidly unlock maximum private investment in fibre and digital infrastructure (see figure).

Figure 1 - Five key lessons learned and how local authorities can rapidly unlock maximum private investment

Lesson 1: Strategic Planning for Success

Proper planning is the bedrock of successful fibre and digital infrastructure projects. Initiating the process early, with ample time for planning, procurement, and design, ensures a smooth transition from conception to implementation. A well-thought-out timeline, typically 2-3 years in advance, minimises potential delays and sets the stage for success.

Lesson 2: Empowering Change with Strong Business Cases

Securing capital funding for digital transformation projects such as this require a compelling business case that outlines their transformative impact. A robust outline business case (OBC) is an essential part of the process to secure capital funding, demonstrating the need for change, presenting cost-benefit analyses, and highlighting the social and economic impact of digital transformation. A well written OBC with a strong evidence base can enhance the likelihood of obtaining the necessary financial support.

Lesson 3: Building a Coalition of Champions

Engaging influential stakeholders across departments is crucial for seamless implementation. Obtaining support from senior stakeholders, including the Chief Executive, Chie Digital Officer, and relevant departments like ICT and economic development, ensures a smooth process by addressing obstacles and gaining necessary approvals. Collaboration across various departments enhances the project's impact on both corporate ICT and the local digital economy.

Lesson 4: Mapping Opportunities for Connectivity

Investor appeal can be maximised through comprehensive mapping of assets and site lists. Detailed mapping of assets and connections demonstrates project’s financial attractiveness to operators and their investors leading to increased private investment in digital infrastructure and improved coverage across the region.

Lesson 5: The Gateway to Digital Transformation

Fibre projects should be catalysts for broader digital transformation initiatives. Fibre and digital infrastructure projects should not be isolated but viewed as starting points for broader digital transformation efforts. Leveraging fibre and digital capabilities enhances the overall digital landscape, creating smart connected places that improve service delivery, increase productivity, and drive social and economic impact. This can be achieved through the development of a comprehensive digital strategy and action plan that considers whole council digital transformation.

How Intelligens Consulting Drives Digital Transformation

Intelligens Consulting specialises in the Anchor Tenant model, unlocking private investment in fibre connectivity for local authorities. Our strategic guidance and industry expertise develop compelling investment propositions, leading to preferred bidders delivering transformative infrastructure. Through this approach, we foster social and economic benefits, empowering local authorities to thrive in the digital age.

About Intelligens Consulting

Intelligens Consulting is a leading telecoms, smart city, and digital transformation management consultant for investors, operators, and public bodies. With a proven track record in developing smart connected place strategies and attracting private investment, Intelligens Consulting empowers public authorities to transform their digital landscape. Reach out to us at to discuss how we can help you.

Subscribe to receive our monthly insights straight to your inbox and Book our executive discovery workshop to inform your senior leadership team on the benefits of digital transformation. Download a copy of this article and share it with your colleagues.


bottom of page