CityFibre To Expand Edinburgh Fibre Network By 100km

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Follow on: Google +

CityFibre secures ‘largest’ ever contract to connect more public buildings in Scottish capital

CityFibre is to expand its fibre to the premise (FTTP) network in Edinburgh by 100km after it secured an extension to its contract with the city council worth at least £5.6 million over the next seven years.

The expansion to the Edinburgh CORE network will see 294 council sites covered, including offices, community centres, libraries and 137 schools.

In total, 500 buildings will be connected once the work is completed over the next 12 months and it is claimed the network will offer council sites more capacity and up to 100 times faster speeds than existing copper BT infrastructure.

The work will be carried out with local service provider Commsworld, which CityFibre partnered with for the first phase of the project.

Edinburgh fibre

“In signing this contract we will transform the way we do business,” said city councillor Alasdair Rankin. “One of the exciting things CGI will do through its chosen partners, including CityFibre and Commsworld, is speed up our move to greater online capability giving residents and businesses greater flexibility to engage with the Council and carry out their transactions digitally. This will make us a more efficient and effective organisation across our wide range of Council services.”

CityFibre also promises the development will be a boon to Edinburgh’s businesses as fibre will be delivered to areas of the city not covered by the initial rollout.

The contract is part of a wider £186 million ICT infrastructure procurement awarded to CGI and CityFibre’s part has an option to extend it to 19 years and grow in value to £16 million – making it the company’s “largest” win to date.

‘We can rival Openreach’

Edinburgh castle scotland © Gianluca Figliola Fantini Shutterstock“This is CityFibre’s largest contract to date and in such a prestigious city as Edinburgh, it is a landmark in our growth as a firm,” said Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre. “In a matter of months, CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld has begun a truly transformational infrastructure project in the city and as the world’s bandwidth consumption is set to triple in the next four years.

CityFibre has built a number of FTTP networks across the UK, including Peterborough, Coventry, Aberdeen and York – the latter of which is a pilot for a joint-venture between the company, Sky and TalkTalk to develop an alternative to BT Openreach in towns and cities

“This contract solidifies the power of our Gigabit City model and indicates the appetite from city leaders to embrace a new generation of infrastructure. In our Gigabit Cities, we are now a true infrastructure alternative to BT Openreach,” added Mesch.

The majority of the UK’s fibre infrastructure is based on the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology, which uses copper for the final few hundred metres of the connection, slowing down speeds. However it is hoped that the deployment of G.Fast will allow for 500Mbps – 1Gbps to be delivered over copper in the near future.

What do you know about fibre broadband?