Ahead of the appointment of a new Prime Minister, who is expected to prioritise the accelerated delivery of full fibre infrastructure across the UK, CityFibre, the leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure, has today confirmed 14 further towns and cities are being planned and mobilised for full fibre deployment. They are set to join its ‘Gigabit City Club’, alongside the 12 cities already announced, and form the next phase in CityFibre’s £2.5bn investment plan to bring competitive full fibre infrastructure to at least five million homes, more than 20% of the UK market.
The cities announced are Batley, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Doncaster, Inverness, Ipswich, Leicester, Lowestoft, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Rotherham, Slough, Swindon and Worthing. CityFibre will continue to work closely with each local authority to facilitate and accelerate the rollouts and to determine the sequence of towns and cities deployed. On completion, the total economic impact of full fibre in these locations alone could exceed £16.3bn, creating over 115,000 indirect jobs.
CityFibre has commenced network design and is already investing in each location, extending its existing full fibre spine infrastructure serving schools, hospitals and council offices, to reach nearly every home and business. Each Gigabit City design will include enough fibre capacity to serve the bandwidth demands of all market verticals far into the future. The networks, which are designed to be ready for 5G small cell densification, also provide a platform to realise Smart City ambitions.
This announcement adds over one million homes and businesses to the million already covered by the 12 Gigabit Cities previously announced. Construction is now underway in ten of those cities, and in five of them gigabit-capable broadband services are live and on sale to customers.
With thousands of construction engineers and operatives required to roll out its networks at pace, CityFibre is investing in resourcing programmes and training centres as well as working closely with government to ensure its contractors have the necessary workforce to support this acceleration. CityFibre estimates that over 3,250 construction jobs will be created in its deployment to the two million homes identified so far.
CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said:
“CityFibre’s sole purpose is to deliver the future-proof digital infrastructure the UK deserves. With a new Prime Minister set to increase government’s ambitions for the pace of full fibre rollout, we are delighted to welcome another 14 towns and cities to our Gigabit City Club. These Gigabit Cities will not only gain new full fibre networks that will spark their digital transformation, but also unleash the benefits that only competitive infrastructure investment can bring.
“Our rollout to five million homes is gathering momentum. We have now confirmed 26 locations and over two million homes in our programme. We are investing, we are building, and we are connecting customers to networks of the future.”
Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said:
“We are delighted to see Inverness confirmed as part of CityFibre’s national full fibre rollout. Digital infrastructure, fit for the 21st century, is critical to Inverness’ future – a city-wide roll-out of full fibre from CityFibre will ensure we have the best possible platform in place. The full roll-out builds on work led by the Council on an ultrafast network for the public sector. Full fibre delivers the potential to transform how we communicate, the way we live and work, it will drive economic growth and innovation and help our communities & businesses thrive in a rapidly changing world.”
Worthing Borough Council Cllr Dan Humphreys said:
“This is fantastic news from CityFibre and will bring incredible advantages for our residents and future business. This ultrafast broadband will revolutionise how we work and play allowing us to receive and transmit huge amounts of information so much more quickly than now.
“The possibilities are almost endless. We have been determined to ensure Worthing remains at the front of the digital revolution for the benefit of all of our residents so this announcement by CityFibre marks a great day for us.”