After partnering in November last year, CityFibre and Vodafone have announced the first UK city set to receive its Gigabit-Capable home fibre network.
The two companies have chosen Milton Keynes as the first location to launch its Fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) programme, extending the current 160km full-fibre network the city already has.
CityFibre will invest at least £40m into building “a state of the art” digital infrastructure for the city of Milton Keynes. The aim of the FTTP network is to connect 12 cities across the UK and provide an estimated one million homes and businesses with full-fibre fast broadband.
The city was chosen as the first to deploy the FTTP network because of its strong technology sector, as well as the council’s forward-looking commitment to ‘smart city’ initiatives. Additionally, Milton Keynes was chosen has it has been identified as one of five fast-growing cities in the UK.
Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery commented: “Milton Keynes is fast becoming a UK leader for productivity and growth, with its economic prospects only likely to improve following the opening of the East West Rail project. We believe that residents deserve a digital communications service to match their ambitions. This is why we are providing gigabit-capable connections to transform the way we live and work.”
The benefits that the FTTP network will bring to Milton Keynes is both to customers and businesses. By using fibre-optic cables used at all stages of connection, Vodafone can provide residents of Milton Keynes with superfast and reliable broadband services, capable of Gigaspeeds.
As an example, using such internet speeds hospitals would be able to download a 2GB CT scan in a mere 17 seconds, instead of 11 minutes that a standard broadband connection would provide. Entertainment will also benefit from the service as films will be able to download the latest 25GB HD blockbuster in a matter of 8 and half minutes, in comparison to six hours.
Councillor Peter Marland, Leader at Milton Keynes Council, said: “We are delighted that Milton Keynes has been selected as the first city in this full fibre roll-out by Vodafone and CityFibre. As a modern city that prides itself on its smart city ambitions and projects, we are perfectly positioned to make the most of this major private investment in our digital infrastructure. We know that the city will get behind this project to ensure that every home and business unlock their digital potential.”
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The fibre technology used for the FTTP network will set Milton Keynes up for future developments in the network market, such a preparing for 5G networking. Such advanced fibre networks are also crucial to provide high-capacity backhaul connections for the Internet of Things (IoT) products, such as smart home sensors.
Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre added: “The partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre aims to tackle the huge problem the UK faces in terms of digital inadequacy and will help fulfil our vision of a Gigabit Britain. We are at the early stages of creating the Gigabit fibre network that the UK needs and deserves, and with the announcement of Milton Keynes as our first project, we are well on our way to making this vision a reality. Full speed ahead.”
The construction of the FTTP network will begin in Milton Keynes in March this year, with the first live services expected towards the end of 2018.