World-leading internet services now available to businesses and schools in the UK’s newest Gigabit Cities.

Leeds, Bradford, and London, 25 April, 2016 – CityFibre today announced that Leeds and Bradford have become the UK’s newest Gigabit Cities. With nearly 200km of full-fibre optic infrastructure now available for use by businesses and the public sector, Leeds and Bradford are now amongst the best digitally connected cities in the world, future-proofing themselves for the digital age.

A new generation of affordable, gigabit speed internet services are now available from CityFibre’s launch partners Exa Networks and Diva Telecom. Until now, businesses based in the centres of Leeds and Bradford were poorly served in terms of internet connectivity, with a shortage of ‘fibre to the cabinet’ services limiting their digital capabilities. The new networks alleviate these concerns, offering speeds up to 100 times faster than the UK national average and unlocking a host of productivity benefits to organisations increasingly reliant on digital systems and communications.

CityFibre’s full-fibre network will help support the drive for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ by providing the infrastructure to enable the next-generation of digitally based businesses to flourish across the region. The North already contributes about £10bn a year in digital GVA to the UK economy. Full-fibre infrastructure will only help to accelerate this as businesses become more productive and the region becomes increasingly attractive as a location to build and grow a business.  Alongside other Gigabit City projects such as York and Huddersfield, CityFibre has extensive fibre networks across the region that it will be launching in the coming months.

Commenting on the announcement Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre said: “As thirst for greater internet speeds continues to grow in all sectors, it’s fantastic to be able to offer cities the world-class digital infrastructure they need to meet the demand. As Gigabit Cities, Leeds and Bradford will be on the digital front foot, able to compete and succeed in a digital world.

“We have already invested over £70m in next generation digital infrastructure across the North, and now businesses in Leeds and Bradford will be able to capitalise on this to build better-connected, more innovative, companies.”

David Cawthray, Assistant Director of Information Services at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, commented:  “This announcement is great news for Bradford. Reliable, ultrafast gigabit speed connectivity is crucial for businesses across the city to compete on the national and international stage. The CityFibre network will support the growth of Bradford’s thriving entrepreneurial business community as well as other bandwidth hungry organisations allowing them to transform the way they operate.

“As a Gigabit City, Bradford will be able to set itself alongside the most digitally advanced locations in Europe, allowing the council to further our digital agenda quicker than ever before. We are delighted to see CityFibre continue its investment in Yorkshire.”

Cllr James Lewis, Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council, said: “We welcome this investment in Leeds by CityFibre. High speed internet connectivity allows businesses to become more efficient and productive, and to make the most of the latest advances in cloud computing and remote working, so this investment is important in underpinning our ongoing economic growth.”

“Leeds is already home to a thriving digital sector, with over 1,350 digital companies in Leeds and 10,000 people employed in the sector. Today also marks the start of the five-day Leeds Digital Festival, a city-wide event which celebrates digital culture with 50 events across 25 venues.”  

Businesses can find out more and register their interest at cityfibre.com/yorkshire

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