Peterborough poised for full-fibre roll out

Peterborough has been selected by CityFibre and Vodafone UK to undergo a city-wide roll out of full fibre infrastructure.

It is the third city launched under the strategic partnership to deliver full fibre to approximately 12 cities and reaching one million homes across the UK by 2021.

CityFibre has committed to invest at least £30 million in the infrastructure project which will extend its fibre network to nearly every home and business in the city, starting in May this year.

Vodafone will use the network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to customers by early 2019.

Vodafone Gigafast Broadband will offer customers ultrafast and reliable full fibre broadband at every stage of the connection from their home or workplace to the Internet.

According to figures from industry body Fibre to the Home Council (2014), providing full fibre to just half of all premises could result in a 1.1% rise in annual GDP. When applied to Peterborough, the city-wide fibre roll-out could unlock huge economic growth exceeding £700 million in Gross Value Added (GVA) over the next 15 years.

Peterborough is already making full use of the arterial fibre network built by CityFibre in 2013 following the award of a major public-sector contract.

Most schools, council offices and the main hospital currently benefit from full fibre access, and recently, high-definition CCTV and traffic management cameras were added to the network. Hundreds of businesses are already connected and benefitting from access to affordable Gigabit speed services. The network's extension will bring fibre within reach of thousands more.

John Holdich OBE, Leader of Peterborough City Council, said: "Peterborough City Council has worked closely with CityFibre for years to develop and expand the reach of their full fibre network. It has become a platform for our Smart City initiatives, helps us attract businesses and develop our emerging tech sector. With this extension of the project, the full benefits will soon be felt by everyone who lives and works in the city."

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre, said: "Peterborough is the perfect demonstration of the benefits a third competitive digital infrastructure brings the UK market. It has fuelled economic growth, innovation and inward investment and paved the way for us to bring full fibre to the entire city."

The report identified the potential for up to £55m GVA growth in business productivity, innovation and access to new markets in Peterborough, while a further £25m in growth could be driven from encouraging new business start-ups.