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York to become ‘fibre capital of the North’ with CityFibre investment

York will join the likes of Bradford, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle as a northern city set to receive a healthy injection of fibre.

Infrastructure provider CityFibre Holdings has announced plans to roll out a city-wide network, building on the 103 kilometer network that’s already serving 110 sites in York including schools, NHS and Council facilities.

York CityFibre Holdings dark fibre investment FTTH

James Alexander leader of City of York Council wants York to “become a template for the type of city-wide fibre networks that are so badly needed by the UK’s towns and cities to help them overcome their challenges and thrive in a digital service economy while operating within the tightest budgets for a generation.”

The City of York Council aims to have 95 per cent of all its businesses having access to connection speeds of at least 25Mbps by 2014.

Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre explained: “Our collaboration with City of York Council is leading the way as a solution that allows all public, private and residential sectors to be connected across a pure fibre optic infrastructure designed with digital services in mind; sparking economic growth, innovation and job creation.”

The UK’s digital economy: 11 per cent growth by 2015

The completion of this new infrastructure however will benefit residents as well as businesses.
The plans will see Fibre to the Home [FTTH] connections being rolled out to homes and businesses, giving York residents a ‘pure’ fibre broadband experience.

Fibre to the Home differs from Fibre to the Cabinet [FTTC], where a fibre pipe will run all the way from an exchange to a terminal, with the ‘last mile’ connection to a subscriber’s home is made with a separate line, usually copper wire. This doesn’t allow for faster speeds as a pure fibre line, which is what residents of York will be getting.

With the UK’s digital economy in rude health, but average broadband speeds trailing behind those of our European neighbours, there’s definite incentive for wide-scale fibre investment. Lets hope that CityFibre’s plans don’t go the way of Digital Region, a plan to light up Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield with fibre that went awry and was bailed out by the taypayer to the tune of £10 million.

Alongside York, the Government has also earmarked cash for investment in fibre optic networks for other major UK cities including the four national capitals, Birmingham, Bristol and the aforementioned Bradford, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. 

Image: Flickr user ruafun 12

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