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Work on Aberdeen's gigabit broadband network gets underway

Tuesday, March 17th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The construction of a new fibre network bringing gigabit broadband to Aberdeen has started.

The network is being built by infrastructure provider CityFibre and will provide the city with broadband speeds of up to 1,000Mbps – making it Scotland’s first ‘Gigabit City’.

Aberdeen City Council deputy leader Marie Boulton is today (March 17) joining representatives from CityFibre and its project partner Internet For Business (IFB) at the dig site on Justice Mill Lane.

The Aberdeen CORE network – upon which the city’s fibre infrastructure will be built – is being engineered to accommodate current and future demands from the private and public sectors, mobile networks and data centre operators in the city.

“This is great news for Aberdeen, which I am sure will be warmly welcomed by residents, businesses and other organisations across the city,” said Councillor Boulton.

“Better digital connectivity is one of our goals as part of Shaping Aberdeen, our long-term plan for how we can make our economically buoyant city even more successful.

“Shaping Aberdeen includes the Accelerate Aberdeen programme, which is aimed at providing the city with world-class high speed broadband.

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

The precise routing of the network will be determined initially by demand from the business community.

Businesses are asked to register their interest online and to encourage neighbouring businesses to do the same to ensure the best chance of attracting the network to their street or business park.

'World-leading infrastructure'

Since announcing plans to bring gigabit speeds to Aberdeen in September, more than 250 local businesses have already registered their details.

Among the first sites to see pure fibre network laid will be Union Street, Schoolhill and Queens Road.

Connections and services in these areas will go live in May with other sites in Altens, Bridge of Don and Dyce to be connected later this year.

Thanks to the modern trenching techniques used by the construction teams, work will be carried out quickly and with minimal disruption to residents.

Commenting on the start of construction, James McClafferty, city development manager at CityFibre, said: “We are delighted to begin building this network for Aberdeen.

“This is a huge first step towards transforming Aberdeen into Scotland’s first Gigabit City. Soon businesses and the city as a whole, will begin to feel the benefits of this world-leading infrastructure project.”

Graeme Gordon, CEO of IFB, said: “Alongside CityFibre, we are creating a custom-built network that is completely independent from the existing infrastructure, which for our clients means phenomenally fast, robust and reliable services.

“The response from local companies has already been fantastic. Any business that relies on digital connectivity will benefit from the Aberdeen CORE, with the capacity to facilitate growth and allow businesses to maintain the highest performance, efficiency and reliability.”

Aberdeen has one of a highest broadband up-take rates in the country at 74% and projects like Accelerate Aberdeen – an investment of £7m by Aberdeen City Council, the UK and Scottish governments, are increasing average broadband speeds to between 40 and 100Mbps.

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