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Gigabit broadband rollout gives Peterborough 'competitive advantage'

Friday, March 20th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A fibre network bringing broadband speeds of 1,000Mbps, or one gigabit, to premises in Peterborough has been completed.

The construction of a 90km network by infrastructure provider CityFibre makes Peterborough the UK’s latest ‘Gigabit City’.

The Peterborough CORE network – upon which more fibre infrastructure can be built – connects 107 public sector sites including administrative offices, data centres, schools and hospitals.

As part of CityFibre’s ‘Well Planned City’ network design, the Peterborough CORE will benefit the city’s previously underserved business community, and provides a future-proofed network for Peterborough Council and its IT services provider Serco.

More than 1,000 businesses – 25% of the businesses in the city – registered their interest in services as part of the ‘Gig Up Peterborough’ pre-registration campaign, and so far, more than 100 firms have signed orders for services from project partners.

The network's footprint is also set to expand in response to demand for connectivity from businesses in areas not originally included, with plans in place to extend it to four business parks – Fengate, Lynch Wood, Cygnet Park and Orton Southgate – bringing gigabit connectivity within reach of a further 1,000 businesses.

CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “In less than one year Peterborough has been transformed into a Gigabit City.

Next generation services

“With a future-proof digital infrastructure at its heart, Peterborough has a digital head-start on the rest of the country. Its public sector is already more efficient and capable of innovation while its business community is becoming more competitive and productive.

“Through Peterborough’s Gigabit City project we have demonstrated the appetite for next generation gigabit services by both the public and private sector and the speed at which cities throughout the nation can benefit from our model.

“Our network is already growing organically as more sites are connected and more users come to understand the improvements to their experience and bottom line.”

Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said he could not overstate the importance of gigabit infrastructure to the city.

“As a Gigabit City, we have a significant competitive advantage over other areas and are able to lead the way with an innovative and integrated digital strategy.

“Businesses are hungry for bandwidth and we recognise that because of this network, Peterborough is becoming an even more attractive place to build a business.”

The completion of the Peterborough CORE comes as CityFibre continues to build gigabit networks across the UK.

Work on the Aberdeen CORE got underway earlier this week and was welcomed by the city council’s deputy leader Marie Boulton.

“We are committed to improving broadband speeds and this new development will help us achieve that aim,” she said.

Mark Collins, CityFibre’s director of strategy and public affairs, previously told Cable.co.uk that internet service providers are starting to realise the need for gigabit broadband is “inevitable”.

He said there is also a growing view within the industry that “buying connectivity from one monopoly supplier is not a good place to be” and an alternative provider to BT Openreach would be welcomed.

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