Tenants in two Scottish cities will be among the first in the country to benefit from next-generation digital connectivity – thanks to a farsighted partnership between a group of social housing providers and CityFibre, the full fibre infrastructure provider
Housing associations and local authority housing providers in Aberdeen and Stirling have joined forces with CityFibre to put tenants at the front of the queue for access to the gigabit-speed broadband networks that CityFibre is building in those cities.
Full fibre digital networks which provide connectivity at gigabit speeds are recognised to be the digital infrastructure of the future for homes and businesses. The UK Government is calling for 100% coverage across the country by 2033 or even earlier.
The housing associations have agreed permission upfront for CityFibre to install full fibre to every property via blanket wayleave agreements, ensuring the network build can go ahead smoothly and tenants can access the connectivity simply and without delay.
In Stirling, CityFibre has secured wayleaves for Forth Housing Association and Stirling Council. Aberdeen City Council are also in full support of the project and excellent progress has been made with the citywide roll-out. Agreements are already in place with Grampian Housing Association, Langstane Housing Association and Castlehill Housing Association in Aberdeen.
Rob Hamlin, Chief Commercial Officer at CityFibre, said: “Digital access is a major issue facing communities throughout Scotland and we are committed to addressing the problem. This approach will make a genuine difference to thousands of people living in social housing, giving them access to transformative technology and ensuring they are not left behind when it comes to the digital revolution.
“We are proud to have agreed a number of partnerships with housing associations and local housing providers and believe this model is something which can be repeated on a much larger scale across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
More reliable connectivity allows tenants to maximise access to switching services for better utility deals, as well as other services including tenant portals and public service systems, such as those provided by the Department for Work and Pensions and the local council.
Access to full fibre – with services initially being delivered by Vodafone – will unlock many additional benefits. With near unlimited bandwidth, full fibre will ensure households can utilise the latest smart home technology, stream entertainment across multiple devices and make it easier to work from home.
Housing associations will also be able to use the technology to improve services for tenants. For example, by using connected devices over the full fibre network, such as smart temperature sensors, moisture meters and alarms, they can capture environmental data and identify issues before they become apparent.
Grahame Cairns, Director, Forth Housing Association, said: “Digital connectivity is not just a nice to have, which is why it’s absolutely essential that access is widened. Forth Housing Association is thrilled to be partnering with CityFibre to give our tenants the opportunity to connect to next-generation full fibre.
“By granting blanket wayleave agreements we can allow CityFibre to get to work as quickly as possible to lay connections outside almost 700 properties, allowing for those connections to then be switched on if the tenants opts to take the full fibre service.”
Neil Clapperton, Chief Executive, Grampian Housing Association, said: “This approach is particularly important in Aberdeen, where the high proportion of flats could otherwise slow the rollout of full fibre internet.
“By signing a blanket wayleave agreement with CityFibre, we can ensure that our properties in the city gain access to the fastest and most reliable digital connectivity and that our tenants enjoy the many benefits this will bring without any delay.”
If you’re a landlord interested in connecting your properties to full fibre, please visit www.cityfibre.com/property.
To find out more about the Gigabit City project and the benefits to Aberdeen and Stirling, visit https://www.cityfibre.com/gigabit-cities/.