Work to connect homes and businesses to full fibre – separate to public sector build – is underway after delay due to Coronavirus

Inverness is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation with work now well underway to build a future-proof full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the city.

CityFibre is investing at least £20m in Inverness to deliver the transformational project as part of its nationwide plan to replace the country’s ageing copper-based networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.

Full fibre is currently available to less than 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).

The network is not yet live in Inverness, but once activated, services will be available to residents 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 ISPs expected to join the network soon.

Local contractor GCU UK Ltd is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf and work is already in progress in the Cradlehall, Culloden, Smithton and Westhill areas. Additional health and safety measures have been put in place with workers following social distancing protocols as outlined by Public Health Scotland.

The company is using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly and effectively, while working closely with The Highland Council and local communities to manage disruption and ensure a timely and successful roll-out. Door-to-door teams are ensuring residents are kept informed as the project progresses, as well as mailings ahead of construction commencing.

Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s City Manager for Inverness, said: “Full fibre connectivity and next generation broadband services will transform the lives of those living in Inverness. At a time when connectivity is becoming a critical service for many households and businesses across the country, this goes far beyond simply helping households access the latest entertainment at lightning speed. The benefits range from enabling smart city technologies to improve quality of life to giving people the freedom to work efficiently from home with no buffering or bottlenecks.

“As well as enhancing our home lives, CityFibre’s full fibre network will give the business community the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. By connecting properties at up to 1000Mbps we’re putting Inverness firmly in the top tier of cities for connectivity, establishing it as a globally competitive digital destination. While the project has been delayed slightly due to the pandemic, we will work diligently and safely to ensure residents and businesses can benefit as quickly as possible.”

Speaking of the investment, Malcolm Macleod, Executive Chief Officer – Infrastructure and Environment at The Highland Council, said: “We welcome CityFibre’s private investment into Inverness to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose digital infrastructure that will futureproof homes and businesses.

“The Highland Council continues to work closely with the private sector to facilitate economic growth in the digital age and CityFibre’s full fibre network will be vital in ensuring Inverness has a resilient and dynamic economy for years to come.”

Residents interested in full fibre broadband can pre-register their interest with CityFibre and will receive information when services are available. Visit: www.cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities/

 

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