Peterborough’s civic and business communities came together last week to explore how improved digital connectivity is already transforming everyday life for people in the city.

CityFibre is investing more than £30m to deliver a city-wide full fibre network in partnership with Vodafone. The city’s digital transformation will see almost every home and business benefit from full fibre internet connectivity with gigabit speeds. The project is due to complete build in 2020 and is well underway. Construction work started last July and the first residential customers connected earlier in January this year.

And as Peterborough is one of the first cities in the UK to benefit from next-generation full fibre connectivity, stakeholders came together to discover more about the project – and give their input on how Peterborough can maximise this investment, now and in the future.

More than 60 people – including council officers, elected members, business leaders, figures from the education and property sectors along with members of economic and community groups – attended CityFibre’s stakeholder event last week.

At the stakeholder event at the Ferry Meadows restaurant, CityFibre updated guests on the progress being made and detailed the benefits full fibre will deliver to Peterborough – from increased business innovation and productivity to improved smart tech at home. Guests also had the chance to take part in an interactive Internet of Things display which demonstrated an ongoing project alongside Peterborough City Council.

Rebecca Stephens, CityFibre’s city manager for Peterborough said: “2019 is shaping up to be a huge year for Peterborough’s digital transformation. As construction is now well underway, the very first homes were able to access full fibre services earlier this year, and as build progresses, even more customers will have access to this gold standard infrastructure.

“It was a pleasure to bring together some key stakeholders from the community and discuss how full fibre will help propel Peterborough’s digital future. There has been huge interest from local residents and businesses and it’s great to see such enthusiasm for the project.

“The long term benefits of improved connectivity are massive and the people we speak to cannot wait to connect. In the short term, we are doing everything we can to ensure communities are kept updated with our plans and we look forward to working closely with local communities and the city as a whole as the build progresses.”

Tom Hennessy, chief executive of Opportunity Peterborough added: “The roll-out of full fibre broadband to all of Peterborough by CityFibre and Vodafone is an essential part of the competitive advantages the city can offer businesses and residents. In an increasingly digital world, gigabit speed internet connectivity is imperative if we want do business quickly, efficiently and productively, and for us to remain competitive in international markets. Opportunity Peterborough also welcomes CityFibre’s involvement in smart city projects with our Future Peterborough team, and many other partners, around the Internet of Things, ensuring the city gets maximum value from combining gigabit connectivity, technology and data.”

Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring ‘Vodafone Gigafast Broadband’ to residential customers in Peterborough.

Paul Ryder, Peterborough city manager at Vodafone UK, said: “With Vodafone Gigafast Broadband, we are able to provide Peterborough residents with speeds of 900Mbps for both download and upload at extremely competitive prices. This digital transformation is changing how people in the community live and work. We connected our first customers in January in Dogsthorpe and almost 10,000 properties are now able to order. We are hugely excited to begin expanding the service into the Ortons and further into the South of Peterborough over the coming weeks and months.”

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