Work to transform Leicester into one of the world’s best digitally connected cities kicks off

Leicester has reached a major milestone in its digital transformation as work begins to extend its full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the city.

As part of a £80m private investment from CityFibre, Leicester will benefit from a state-of-the-art full fibre network roll-out. Once activated, full fibre network services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone to deliver next generation broadband services and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon.

Construction work has officially commenced in the Belgrave area, with neighbouring areas soon after. Granemore Group is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf. As key workers, CityFibre has been asked by the UK Government to continue to expand the nation’s digital capacity. All contractors are being urged to follow the social distancing protocols as outlined by Public Health England to ensure build partners’ safety.

CityFibre is using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly, while working closely with Leicester City Council and local communities to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Residents have been kept informed by leafleting teams, social media and mailings ahead of works in their streets.

James Cushing, CityFibre’s City Manager for Leicester, said: “For people across Leicester, this is a major step for their digital future. Work is now underway on our £80million investment, full fibre connectivity can boost the local economy by up to £640 million over the coming years. Full fibre broadband will help households access services and 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.

“Lockdown has demonstrated how essential a fast, reliable broadband service is for businesses and residents. During the current crisis, we are motivated to maintain progress and play our part in providing the digital infrastructure that will drive economic growth, support home-workers in their day-to-day lives and enable residents to keep in touch with loved ones and access important online services.”

Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is only available to 12 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).

Construction work on Leicester’s next-generation full fibre network is due to last up to five years. The project will bring almost all residents and businesses in the city within reach of the future-proof network and gigabit-speed broadband services.

Mark Lee, Director at Granemore Group, said: “This is now the fourth city that the Granemore Group are operating in on behalf of CityFibre as part of its Gigabit City programme. Our partnership with CityFibre has solid foundation for longevity and is strategically aligned in order to realise both companies’ ambitions, one milestone at a time. This latest award demonstrates confidence and commitment by both parties to help realise the government’s ambition of UK nationwide full fibre coverage by 2025 – a journey that won’t be without its challenges but will certainly have its rewards.”

To find out more about working at CityFibre and to apply for current job openings, visit: cityfibre.com/careers

If residents are interested in full fibre broadband, they can pre-register interest with CityFibre and will receive information when services are available. To pre-register interest, visit: cityfibre.com/residential

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