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CityFibre selects Peterborough for multi-million pound Gigabit City investment

Posted: 05/11/2013

Businesses and residents will soon be able to access some of the fastest internet speeds anywhere in the UK following a recent announcement of a £30million investment to create a fibre optic network across the city.

CityFibre has selected Peterborough to make this major private investment due to the city’s growing commercial sector. Cabinet will now discuss proposals to set up a partnership with the company, who are one of the country’s leading fibre internet infrastructure providers, at its meeting on Monday 4 November 2013.

The news means that Peterborough will now become the UK’s next Gigabit city, following the likes of York.

CityFibre’s network will lead to businesses and residents being able to access internet connections with speeds of at least one gigabit per second, which is around 40 times quicker than current superfast broadband.

Cabinet will be asked to decide whether to transfer the council’s existing networks onto CityFibre’s in order to improve connection speeds, transform services and to make savings. If agreed, council services and buildings would be connected via the CityFibre network once constructed.

It’s estimated that overall savings will amount to £4.5million, in part, by reducing the number of networks the council uses so that all its provision is obtained through CityFibre’s fibre optic network.

If given the go-ahead, services such as the city’s CCTV network could be connected to the network and combined with the systems the council uses to monitor traffic. This will create further efficiency savings and create a more responsive service.

Councillor Marco Cereste, Leader of the Council, said: “The city has one of the fastest growing economies in the UK and this CityFibre investment will allow businesses of all sizes to utilise the internet for growth, as well as attracting new companies from the technology sector and supporting residents who want to work from home. It will also give our schools the ability to take advantage of these vastly improved speeds for the benefit of their pupils.

“Peterborough will have one of the country’s best digital infrastructures, future-proofing the city’s internet provision. The council will also be able to use the network to improve services, make further efficiencies and save money which can be used to protect front-line services.”

It’s envisaged that schools and libraries will use the network to help transform the services that they currently deliver. For example this could lead to remote seminars and lesson sharing across schools in the city, and even working with overseas schools.

Superfast broadband speeds are currently around 24 megabits per second, while the new CityFibre network will make speeds of at least one gigabit per second available to businesses and residents.

A recent study has shown that a superfast broadband network can increase a city’s economic output. It’s hoped that a fibre optic network, which is up to 40 times faster, will attract new businesses, create jobs and inspire new start-ups across the city.

CityFibre will also be making an announcement today to reveal Peterborough as the UK’s next Gigabit City.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre, commented: “We have selected Peterborough because of its growing SME sector and the strength of its economy. We are committed to long term investment in the city. We believe strongly that cities, like Peterborough, should have the opportunity to benefit from widespread deployment of fibre infrastructure. This will enable businesses and homes in the city to fully maximise the power of cloud computing, ultrafast broadband, or even glitch-free video conferencing on Google Hangouts or Skype.

“The first stage of our deployment will include the major commercial districts of the city, covering over 4,000 businesses, all of whom will benefit from gigabit-level speeds and services. The second phase will bring that same level of speed to up to 60,000 homes, making Peterborough a truly Gigabit city.”

CityFibre hopes to begin work installing the initial 90km of fibre infrastructure, known as the Peterborough Core, next spring. The first connections to the network should take place soon afterwards.

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