Work to transform Stirling into one of the world’s most digitally connected cities kicks off today – with Bridge of Allan also set to benefit

Stirling is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation after work began today (19 November) on a next-generation full fibre broadband network.

Almost every home and business across Stirling City will be able to access the ultrafast connectivity, which is being delivered via a £10m private investment from CityFibre as part of its strategic partnership with Vodafone.

Stirling is among the first locations in the UK to benefit from the digital transformation, along with fellow Scottish cities Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Construction work has officially commenced in the Cambusbarron area, with Bannockburn set to follow in the New Year. As part of the project, CityFibre will also be extending its network to Bridge of Allan.

The first homes and businesses will see their full fibre services ‘go live’ in spring next year, with construction work expected to continue throughout next year and into 2020. PMK Civil Engineering is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf.

The company will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly, while working closely with Stirling Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out with minimum disruption to residents.

Elaine Doherty, CityFibre’s City Development Manager for Stirling, said: “For people across Stirling, their digital future is just around the corner. With work now underway we are only a few months from the first homes being able to access full fibre and that is something to be celebrated. Ultrafast 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 Stirling’s forward-thinking business community. Full fibre enables Stirling to be more innovative and productive, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business at home – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”

According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, full fibre connectivity will have a major impact in Stirling over the next 15 years. It shows that up to £11m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £21m locally. Access to full fibre could also unlock £14m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £8m 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.

Councillor Scott Farmer, Leader of Stirling Council, added: “The start of these works by CityFibre signals the power being switched on for a new age for Stirling. Secure, high speed access to the internet is such vital part of the City’s infrastructure and is a key asset to encourage more businesses and visitors to the area.

“This project will see homes and businesses in Stirling hooked up to some of the fastest internet available in the

UK, connecting our communities, businesses and residents like never before as we continue to make Stirling a place where everyone can thrive.”

Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is only available to five per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the ‘gold standard’ 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). CityFibre’s partnership with Vodafone will put full fibre broadband within reach of one million premises by 2021.

Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to residential customers in Stirling. To find out more and register your interest visit: www.vodafone.co.uk/gigafast

Neil Blagden, Director of Digital & Commercial Operations, Vodafone UK, said: “Broadband is the linchpin of our modern lives, which makes it more crucial than ever that Stirling isn’t left behind with outdated copper connections. Full fibre broadband is such a dramatic improvement in speed and reliability, it will help transform how residents work, study and relax. It is immensely exciting to bring cutting-edge Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to this historic city.”

To find out more about CityFibre’s Gigabit City vision for Stirling visit: www.cityfibre.com/stirling

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