CityFibre agrees deal with Southend council to build 50km dark fibre network that could eventually be used for business and consumer broadband
CityFibre is to build a 50km dark fibre network for Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, connecting 120 public sector sites across the town, including schools and council offices.
The company says the £3.24m network will allow the council to deliver more cost effective and efficient public services and bosot connectivity to locations which might only be served by BT Openreach, which primarily uses fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) technology for its superfast services.
Councillor Ian Gilbert said: “Connectivity is a critical issue for today’s businesses, so this has the potential to be a massive boost to jobs and investment in the town.”
“The solution will not only provide a stepped improvement in connectivity for Council premises and schools but also offer solutions for businesses and residential premises. The partnership reflects the Council’s commitment to sustainable economic growth and improved opportunity for all.”
The network will be available to other communications providers on a wholesale basis and CityFibre has suggested consumer services could eventually be offered. Mobile operators will also be able to use the infrastructure for backhaul services.
“We’re delighted to add Southend to growing ranks of Gigabit City projects across the UK,” added CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch. “It has a forward thinking council with an ambitious digital strategy and the appetite to become a leading example of a smart city while its business community is growing and hungry for best-in-breed connectivity options.”
CityFibre operates seven ‘gigabit’ networks in Bristol, Peterborough, Coventry, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and York – the latter of which forms the basis of a joint-venture with Sky and TalkTalk– and has fibre in a number of other cities where similar deals with councils have been agreed.
The network in Bristol uses infrastructure gained in CityFibre’s £90m acquisition of KCOM’s fibre assets outside Hull and East Yorkshire. The deal, completed in December, saw CityFibre’s nationwide footprint increase by 300 percent and now covers 36 cities, with plans to expand this to 50 by the end of the decade, 7,000 mobile sites, 24,500 public sector locations and 245,000 businesses.
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