ISP CityFibre has announced plans to transform Peterborough into a Gigabit City, by connecting over 64,000 premises to fibre-optic broadband.
The £30 million city-wide project is expected to initially connect 80 per cent of Peterborough businesses to a pure fibre network capable of delivering speeds of up to 1Gbps. As the project continues, more companies and homes will be able to benefit from next-gen connections.
There are no start dates for the project yet as it’s early days, but CityFibre’s CEO Greg Mesch has a rough idea of how many firms and families across Peterborough will benefit.
Mesch said: “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 truly a Gigabit city.
“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. We welcome Peterborough to the Gigabit city club.”
The project will have to receive cabinet approval from Peterborough City Council, but it looks as though it will go ahead. Councillor Marco Cereste, Leader of Peterborough City Council said: “We welcome the proposed CityFibre investment in the city. Peterborough’s economy is rapidly growing and the CityFibre investment will allow businesses of all sizes to utilise the Internet for growth, as well as bringing new business to Peterborough, inspire new start-ups, support homeworkers and create jobs.”
The Council and CityFibre have developed a Strategic Partnership, which aims to create a framework to meet the council’s objectives in the delivery of Gigabit speed services.
Cambridgeshire County Council has already signed a contract with BT as part of the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) scheme. This will see 98 per cent of premises across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough get connected to superfast fibre-based broadband by the end of 2015, with the majority of those locations getting FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband.
Although tests are underway that could see gigabit speeds delivered over FTTC, we know for sure that a full FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) line can deliver 1Gbps and has the potential to go even higher.
CityFibre is currently considering investment in a number of other cities across the UK.
Peterborough was chosen due to the large number of small to medium businesses in the area – 1,400 were set up in 2012 – and the ambitions of the local authority. As well as providing businesses and residents with faster download speeds, schools, hospitals and other public services will all benefit from the increased availability of gigabit fibre broadband.