Work to bring full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in Cheltenham is officially underway.

CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has now broken ground on a new infrastructure rollout that will futureproof the town’s digital needs for generations to come.

Construction of the £30m Cheltenham-wide full fibre network has begun in Alstone and is being delivered by Kier Group on behalf of CityFibre. The team will use a range of construction methods, while working in close partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council and local communities to deliver a fast rollout while minimising potential disruption.

Each area will usually take just a few weeks to complete; however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days and CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.

The overall project is expected to reach completion by the end of 2023 but the first services will go live for people to take advantage of much sooner. As the network is completed in each neighbourhood, internet service providers (ISPs) will ‘light them up’ with some of the fastest and best value broadband packages available in the country.

The network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone to supply full fibre infrastructure for customers on selected Vodafone Pro Broadband plans, while TalkTalk and other providers are expected to join the network in the future.

Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build and register their interest at cityfibre.com/residential.

Speaking of the project, Neil Madle CityFibre’s City Manager for Cheltenham, said: “This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the town as it gets ready to thrive in the digital age. As the UK’s first dedicated hub supporting the growth and development of cyber security businesses, technology, research and skills, Cheltenham needs the fast, reliable and future-proofed digital connectivity that only full fibre infrastructure can provide if it’s to fully realise its Cyber Central ambitions.

“It’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term – once the network’s built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs for decades to come.”

Full fibre networks, unlike many of the copper-based ‘fibre broadband’ services available today, use 100% fibre optic cables to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This gives users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, near limitless bandwidth and connectivity users can depend on.

A full fibre connection also goes far beyond simply enabling access to the latest entertainment at lightning speed. As an essential digital utility, full fibre boosts households and businesses alike, with experts saying it will drive a range of economic benefits, such as making us more productive and innovative.

Alex Chalk, Member of Parliament for Cheltenham, added: “Securing fast, reliable broadband for all residents, businesses and services across Cheltenham has long been a key personal priority, so it’s fantastic to see work now underway on CityFibre’s ambitious £30m infrastructure rollout.

“Investments such as this aid economic recovery, with this once in a generation upgrade future-proofing our network infrastructure at a time when digital connectivity has never been so important. Not only will this make Cheltenham an even better place to live, work and visit, it will strengthen our position as a world-leading hub for cyber technology.”

CityFibre is bringing full fibre connectivity within reach of up to 8 million homes in towns and cities across the UK as part of its up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme. Find out more at www.cityfibre.com/PR-Register

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