Swindon is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation today as work begins to extend its full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the town.
As part of a £40m private investment from CityFibre, Swindon will benefit from the town-wide full fibre network roll-out that will build on the third national digital infrastructure platform’s earlier investment in Swindon’s business connectivity and make it accessible to all.
According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, full fibre connectivity will have a major impact in Swindon over the next 15 years. It shows that up to £83m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £67m locally. Access to full fibre could also unlock £48m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £27m in growth could be driven from new business start-ups, with enhanced connectivity making it easier and less expensive to set up base and run efficiently.
Construction work has officially commenced in Swindon’s Gorse Hill area, with the rest of the town set to follow. VolkerSmart Technologies is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf, using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly. VolkerSmart Technologies is also working closely with CityFibre, Swindon Borough Council and local communities to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works in their streets.
Neil Madle, CityFibre’s City Manager for Swindon, said: “Swindon’s residents’ digital future is just around the corner. Work is now underway and that is something to be celebrated. Full Fibre broadband will help households access all the latest entertainment at lightning speed, but the benefits are far deeper than that – from enabling smart home technology to giving people the freedom to work from home with ease.
“The investment also comes at a critical time for Swindon’s forward-thinking business community. Next generation Full Fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform, they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business locally – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”
David Renard, Leader at Swindon Borough Council, said: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering on its construction programme to help Swindon provide a future-proofed, Full Fibre digital infrastructure. This will bring many benefits to residents and businesses alike and allow our economy to continue to grow and prosper well into the next generation and beyond.”
Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is only available to around16 per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the best in connectivity for its speed, near unlimited bandwidth and reliability. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps).
The full fibre network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Residents interested in connecting to full fibre broadband can pre-register their interest at cityfibre.com/residential and will receive information when services are available.