Nearly every home and business in Reading will gain access to next-generation broadband thanks to a major investment by CityFibre.

Reading is to benefit from an investment of at least £58m in its digital future, as part of CityFibre’s plans to upgrade the nation’s legacy networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.

The state-of-the-art infrastructure is expected to boost business productivity and innovation and deliver millions in economic benefits for the town, while giving residents access to the UK’s fastest broadband services.

Detailed planning is already underway as CityFibre, the UK’s third national infrastructure platform, designs a network capable of serving Reading’s current and future demands. Upon completion, the network will be in reach of nearly every home and business in the town and will provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications, as well as the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

CityFibre has appointed Stacey King as City Manager to spearhead delivery of the Reading project, which is due to commence in January. In this role, Stacey will be responsible for ensuring the state-of-the-art full fibre network is implemented with minimal disruption while delivering maximum benefit for the wider community.

Stacey will also be the lead point of contact for all the town’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring to Reading’s residents and businesses.

Stacey said: “Thriving towns like Reading have so much to gain from assets like next-generation digital infrastructure, unlocking growth and opportunity.

“CityFibre is doing everything it can to transform towns and cities across the country, and it’s really exciting to be involved in this mission. Connectivity has proven to be more important than ever to residents, businesses and public services this year. With our Full Fibre network, Reading can embed resilience, while also futureproofing its infrastructure for the innovations and opportunities that lie ahead.”

Stacey has 20 years’ experience in the telecoms industry.  Her previous role was as regional director for BT, covering the Thames Valley. Stacey has excellent knowledge of the Reading area and has been heavily involved in building strong relationships across key stakeholders, such as the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Local Enterprise Partnership (Thames Valley Berkshire). She is also CityFibre’s City Manager for Slough.

Instalcom is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf, using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly. CityFibre will work closely with Reading Borough Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out.  Residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works commencing in their streets.

Paul Alderton, Communications Director, Instalcom Ltd., said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this contract by CityFibre for the network build in Reading. It’s great to be part of an enterprise that transforms communities’ digital experiences, by giving them more reliable, futureproof broadband.”

Cllr Jason Brock, Leader at Reading Borough Council, said: “We welcome this private investment by CityFibre into Reading to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose digital infrastructure that will futureproof residents and businesses.  CityFibre’s full fibre network will be vital in ensuring Reading has a resilient and dynamic economy for years to come and Reading Borough Council continues to work closely with the private sector to facilitate economic growth in the digital age.”

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, and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon.

If residents are interested in full fibre broadband, they can pre-register interest with CityFibre to receive information when services are available. To pre-register, visit: cityfibre.com/residential

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