CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, is to grow York’s extensive full fibre footprint to bring next-generation connectivity within reach of nearly every home and business in the city.

York is to benefit from a multi-million pound investment in its digital future, as part of CityFibre’s national plans to replace existing networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.

The news comes as CityFibre completes the integration of FibreNation’s projects, following its acquisition in March 2020.

The development of the network brings reliable, high speed, high-capacity digital connectivity to the doorsteps of thousands more businesses and residents at a time when internet access has proved crucial for households across the country.

York has long stood out as a UK frontrunner for next-generation broadband thanks to early investment in the city’s full fibre infrastructure. Since 2011, CityFibre’s dark fibre network has been used to serve York’s thriving business community and became a platform for the UK’s first at-scale trial of Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) with the help of Sky and TalkTalk in 2014. The project was further developed and led by FibreNation (formerly TalkTalk) and with the recent acquisition, will now be finalised under CityFibre’s Gigabit City Investment Programme, which aims to invest up to £4 billion in reaching up to 8 million premises nationwide.

Upon completion, this will bring full fibre within reach of nearly every home and business in the town, serving current and future demands. It will also provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications and underpin the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

Kim Johnston, as City Manager at CityFibre, will spearhead delivery of the project. Commercial lead for CityFibre in the region, Kim will be the main contact for all the borough’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring.

Kim said: “York is a city of fantastic heritage and historical significance but also a forward-thinking digital destination that is making huge strides in 5G initiatives and digital inclusion. The city has long been a focus for digital transformation and it’s a pleasure to support the growth of the broadband infrastructure network, ensuring that as many homes and businesses as possible can benefit from Full Fibre.

“As we’ve all seen over the past year, digital connectivity has never been more important for residents and businesses in towns and cities across the UK. We want access to Full Fibre to be as inclusive as possible and hope the new project will play a pivotal role in growing and protecting the area’s economy, whilst supporting businesses as they implement digital solutions.”

Build partners are helping to deliver the new full fibre network and will be using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly. The company is following social distancing protocols to ensure the build team’s safety, as well as that of the general public.

CityFibre will continue to work closely with City of York Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out, whilst residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works commencing.

Cllr Nigel Ayre, Executive Member for Finance and Performance, City of York Council, said: “Over the last 12 months, we have all increased our virtual presence to adjust how we work and stay connected with one another during the pandemic. This has shown that strong, reliable internet connectivity across the city has never been more important.

“As we look forward, it is clear that digital access and skills are only going to become more vital. We are pleased that residents and businesses in York will soon benefit from this significant investment and have access to world-class connectivity.”

Where the network has been activated, services are available via TalkTalk, and as the roll-out progresses they’ll be available through an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

York residents can pre-register their interest or check their postcode to see if services are currently available here: cityfibre.com/residential

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