Peterborough, UK to Unlock Economic Potential with Full-fiber Roll Out

  • CityFibre
  • Peterborough
  • Vodafone UK
Peterborough, one of the UK’s most advanced Gigabit City projects, has been selected by CityFibre and Vodafone UK to benefit from a city-wide roll-out of full fiber infrastructure. It is the third city launched under the strategic partnership to deliver full fiber to approximately 12 cities and reaching one million homes across the UK by 2021.

CityFibre has committed to invest at least $37 million in the infrastructure project which will extend its fiber network to nearly every home and business in the city, starting in May this year.

Full fiber Broadband at Every Connection Stage
Vodafone will use the network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to customers by early 2019. Vodafone Gigafast Broadband will offer customers ultrafast and reliable full fiber broadband at every stage of the connection from their home or workplace to the Internet. Unlike 97 percent of today’s broadband services in the UK, Vodafone Gigafast Broadband doesn’t rely on old fashioned copper telephone lines. It is based solely on fiber-optic cables to give users a vastly superior online experience capable of gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps).

According to figures from industry body Fiber to the Home Council (2014), providing full fiber to just half of all premises could result in a 1.1 percent rise in annual GDP. When applied to Peterborough, the city-wide fiber roll-out could unlock huge economic growth exceeding $862 million in gross value sdded (GVA) over the next 15 years.

Fiber Network Extension to Reach Thousands More

Peterborough is already making full use of the arterial fiber network built by CityFibre in 2013 following the award of a major public-sector contract. Most schools, council offices and the main hospital currently benefit from full fiber access, and recently, high-definition CCTV and traffic management cameras were added to the network. Hundreds of businesses are already connected and benefiting from access to affordable Gigabit speed services. The network’s extension will bring fiber within reach of thousands more.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre said, “Peterborough is the perfect demonstration of the benefits a third competitive digital infrastructure brings the UK market. Our network has delivered superior services, at a lower cost than BT Openreach. It has fuelled economic growth, innovation and inward investment and paved the way for us to bring full fiber to the entire city. Lessening dependence on BT Openreach and Virgin is not only good for Peterborough, its residents and businesses, it is critical for the UK as a whole.”

Economic Benefits to Peterborough
Ubiquitous access to full fiber across the city will unlock a range of economic benefits across the public and private sectors. A recent study published by economic development consultancy Regeneris examined the potential economic impact of full fiber access in 100 towns and cities over a 15-year period.

The report identified the potential for up to $68 million GVA growth in business productivity, innovation and access to new markets in Peterborough, while a further £25 million in growth could be driven from encouraging new business start-ups.

Peterborough’s homeowners and wider property market can also expect to reap rewards from the roll-out. With access to reliable, high speed broadband becoming ever-more important to buyers, the report suggests that up to $55 million could be added to the value of homes in the city.

Fiber Essential for 5G Roll-Out
The economic impacts unlocked by full fiber roll-outs will extend much further. Full fiber is an essential platform for the inevitable roll-out of 5G, which could mean around £293m in economic growth to Peterborough over the next 15 years. The Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, could drive as much as $130 million in benefits and wider Smart City enablement, from infrastructure and services to smart energy networks, could add $66 million.

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