CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, has revealed Glasgow and Dundee are set to become the latest Gigabit Cities to benefit from a full fibre network as part of its up to £4bn Gigabit City Investment Programme, targeting up to 8 million premises in the UK. In parallel, CityFibre has also accelerated the mobilisation of its network build capabilities, with a process underway to award £1.5bn in construction contracts by the summer and network build brought forward in Glasgow, Dundee and 34 other areas in the UK by the end of the year.
Glasgow and Dundee will each will benefit from a future-proof network that will support the digital needs of homes, businesses, next generation mobile networks and public services for generations. Underpinned by a full fibre infrastructure platform, these cities will drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth across Scotland. supporting the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s recommendation full fibre infrastructure for all of Scotland by 2027.
In an acceleration of its plans, CityFibre will shortly be awarding more than £1.5bn in network construction contracts for the newly announced full city builds. Awards will be granted by July, enabling the selected partners to secure and mobilise their workforce in preparation for network construction to begin in nearly all the announced cities by the end of 2020. The 5m home rollout will create more than 5,000 construction jobs across the UK and stimulate local economic growth in the region of £85bn.
Today’s announcement follows news that TalkTalk has committed to join CityFibre’s network to market both consumer and business services. They will join Vodafone and over 1,500 business and public sector ISPs as customers on the growing network. Most recently, mobile operator Three has committed to leverage CityFibre’s growing network to support its nationwide rollout of 5G services, further accelerating CityFibre’s network deployment plans.
Commenting on the announcement, the Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, said: “This is very welcome news from CityFibre as it announces further commercial full fibre rollouts in Scotland which complement the Scottish Government’s target of ensuring access to a minimum of superfast broadband for each and every premises in Scotland.
“Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy. Commercial investment plays a vital role in supporting digital connectivity in Scotland. We want to create an environment that sees Scotland regarded as the best place to invest in telecoms anywhere in the UK; an environment that encourages and promotes commercial investment.
“That is why we have committed to provide non-domestic rates relief on newly laid and ‘lit’ fibre for 10 years which doubles the commitment made by UK Government. The Scottish Government has listened to industry and 10 years’ relief on newly lit fibre shows that we are determined to position Scotland at the forefront of digital connectivity.”
Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: Scotland’s need for a world-class digital infrastructure has never been greater which is why we stand firmly behind the Scottish Government’s plan to enhance digital connectivity across all of Scotland to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and act as a key enabler of tackling climate change and transitioning to a low carbon economy . Full fibre will play a critical role in levelling-up Scotland and so today we are accelerating our plans, bringing full fibre to additional cities even faster.”