Work to transform Solihull into one of the world’s best digitally connected towns will officially commence this April.

Solihull is gearing up to celebrate a major milestone in its digital transformation as work has been scheduled to begin this April on a new full fibre network which will reach homes and businesses locally.

As part of a £20m private investment from CityFibre, Solihull will benefit from a town-wide full fibre network roll-out, with further expansion coming soon to surrounding villages including Dickens Heath, Bentley Heath, Dorridge and Knowle. This will futureproof the town’s digital connectivity by ensuring its infrastructure can service the speed and bandwidth requirements of both residents and businesses for decades to come.

Construction work will officially commence in the Monkspath area, with the rest of the town set to follow. Callan Connect, who has already been working on behalf of CityFibre on Coventry’s full fibre roll-out, is delivering the construction programme and will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly. The team will be working closely with CityFibre, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council and local communities to minimise disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out.  Meanwhile, residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works in their streets.

Leigh Hunt, CityFibre’s City Manager for Solihull, said: “The past year has really highlighted the remarkable versatility of the internet and how much we depend upon all things digital for work, education and social connectivity with our family and friends. At CityFibre, we want to ensure that as many homes as possible in Solihull are linked to Full Fibre – the fastest and most resilient digital infrastructure available – to make our digital experience as seamless and effective as possible.

“The investment also comes at a critical time for Solihull’s forward-thinking business community. Next-generation Full Fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business locally – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, said: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering its £20m infrastructure investment programme in Solihull.  This once in a generation upgrade will deliver benefits to our residents, business and services; and futureproof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important. The digital age is here, and soon, we’ll be ready for it.”

Julian Knight, Conservative MP for Solihull, added: “The past year has highlighted, for everyone, the importance of connectivity; therefore, I warmly welcome CityFibre’s commitment to Solihull and ongoing work. I have been in contact with the Chief Executive of CityFibre in the past to urge him to improve our connectivity in Solihull and it’s good that the hard work is reaping dividends for constituents.”

According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, full fibre connectivity will have a major impact in Solihull over the next 15 years. It shows that up to £108m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £67m locally. Access to full fibre could also unlock £52m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £23m 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.

Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is available to less than 20 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).

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 deliver next generation broadband services, with TalkTalk and other providers expected to join the network soon.

Visit www.cityfibre.com/your-street to check availability and register your interest in a full fibre broadband service.

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