Alternative broadband network infrastructure providers press ahead with plans for FTTP as bigger players turn their attention towards pure fibre
As the government, and indeed Openreach, find their appetite for fibre to the premise (FTTP), two of the ‘alternative’ infrastructure providers have made progress in connected homes and businesses to ultrafast broadband in two areas of the country.
CityFibre’s network in Southend has its first customers and, like many of its networks in other cities, the local council is the anchor tenant.
The network links public sector buildings such as schools, leisure and community centres, museums, hospitals and social care facilities to 1Gbps broadband.
The enhanced connectivity could also be used for smart city applications, CCTV and free public Wi-Fi.
CityFibre is not an ISP and instead offers wholesale access to its infrastructure to local partners who serve the business community. Local leaders hope the arrival of gigabit broadband will deliver an economic boost to the area.
“Digitally connecting people and services together is at the heart of what any 21st Century Council should be doing,” declared Trevor Byford, Executive Councillor for Technology at Southend Council.
“Implementing an ultrafast fibre-to-the-premise infrastructure across Southend-on-Sea is an important foundation for delivering our ambitious digital strategy and smart city aspirations.
“Becoming a Gigabit City will benefit the whole of Southend-on-Sea including public sector, private businesses and the education sector enabling transformational economic growth and innovation as well as enjoying next generation connectivity.”
Elsewhere, more than 6,000 homes in Berkshire are due to be add to rural network builder Gigaclear’s service as part of the government-funded ‘Superfast Berkshire’ programme, giving remote workers and small businesses in the area a boost.
Gigaclear has already worked with the council on earlier phases of the programme which saw it connect 12,000 properties.
“We are delighted to, once again, be future proofing connectivity for rural homes and businesses in Berkshire,” said Joe Frost, business development director at Gigaclear. “This contract win further cements our commitment to the area and to improving the quality of lives for those who live here, whether that be work, entertainment or play.
What do you know about fibre broadband? Try our quiz!