One year into CityFibre’s Gigabit City project in Coventry, Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport visits build site.

The first anniversary of CityFibre’s £60m fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) rollout of gigabit-capable full fibre infrastructure to nearly every home and business in Coventry was today marked by the visit of the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Minister revealed details about a new law which will mean more than nine million people living in blocks of flats aren’t left behind in the Government’s nationwide upgrade to gigabit speed broadband. The measures will make it easier to install faster internet connections in blocks of flats where landlords repeatedly ignore requests for access from broadband firms. It is estimated that an extra 3,000 properties a year will be connected as a result.

As part of the drive to level up the country’s infrastructure, the Government has set ambitious targets to accelerate the rollout of full fibre infrastructure nationwide by 2025. Rapidly establishing itself as the third digital network provider of scale in the country, CityFibre’s Gigabit City programme is currently into its second phase of rollouts, with mobilisation and build underway to over 2m homes across 26 towns and cities. When completed, CityFibre’s Gigabit City programme will bring wholesale full fibre infrastructure to more than 5m homes and businesses by 2025.

Today’s visit to Coventry saw the Minister join CityFibre’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Mesch, at one of several build sites in the city. Progress in the past year has seen a huge amount of sustained mobilisation to engage with local stakeholders, communities and the supply chain, bringing the network within reach of Longford, Upper Stoke, Foleshill and Holbrook, generating dozens of jobs in the area.

The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, commented: “It was great to be in Coventry this morning with CityFibre to see the work they are doing putting fibre in place to connect the city.

“We are determined to deliver nationwide coverage of gigabit broadband so that the UK has the infrastructure in place to support businesses and our economy.”

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive Officer at CityFibre, said: “We are encouraged by the Government announcing these proposals to support the industry. Barrier-busting measures such as these will help the industry to rollout full fibre networks efficiently, which will be essential if we are to meet the 2025 target. As CityFibre grows to become the third digital network provider at scale, we welcome all the support that the Government is able to provide.

“There are huge transformative benefits to be had through greater connectivity for businesses and residents in communities like Coventry, and we look forward building on the progress we have already made in the city.”

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