LONDON – Rotherham is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation with work now well underway to build a full fibre network that will reach almost every home and business in the town.
This £29m private investment from CityFibre, the UK's third national digital infrastructure platform, will futureproof Rotherham's digital infrastructure and provide residents and businesses with access to reliable, high speed and high capacity full fibre broadband.
Capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps), full fibre can do much more than simply help households access the latest entertainment at lightning speed and stream from multiple devices with ease. It is a key enabler for smart home technology, supports seamless home working and lays the foundations for smart city initiatives.
Construction work has officially commenced in the Kimberworth area with Heneghan's delivering the construction programme on CityFibre's behalf. The company is using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly and is following social distancing protocols, as outlined by Public Health England.
CityFibre is also working closely with Rotherham's communities and stakeholders, including Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works in their streets.
Speaking of the project, Natalie Ward, CityFibre's City Manager for Rotherham, said: "This is such an exciting time for people across Rotherham as work is now underway to build the Full Fibre broadband network which will digitally transform the town. Not only will this bring lightning fast speeds to both households and businesses, it will open up much deeper benefits such as enabling smart home technologies and giving people the freedom to work from home with ease.
"Our £29m investment also supports the innovative business community that helps drive the Rotherham economy. Through the adoption of next generation Full Fibre connectivity, more innovation and productivity will be driven, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. Creating a level playing field for local businesses is vital as they seek to compete and sell internationally."
As City Manager, Natalie will be responsible for ensuring a state-of-the-art full fibre network is implemented with minimal disruption, while delivering maximum benefit for the wider community. She will also serve as the lead point-of-contact for all city stakeholders and will be a key advocate of the benefits that a full fibre network will bring to Rotherham's residents and businesses.
According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, such an investment could have a major impact on the town over the next 15 years. It shows that up to £28m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £44m locally. Access to full fibre could also unlock £27m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £17m in growth could be driven from new business start-ups, with enhanced connectivity making it easier and less expensive to set up base and run efficiently.
The full fibre network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner, Vodafone to deliver next generation broadband services, and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon.
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