Work to transform Aberdeen into one of the world’s most digitally connected cities kicks off today.
Aberdeen residents and their neighbouring businesses came a step closer to accessing next-generation full fibre connectivity for the very first time today (23 July) after CityFibre started construction work to extend its infrastructure throughout the city.
This latest phase of development represents £40m private investment from CityFibre as part of its strategic partnership with Vodafone to deliver full fibre connectivity to 1m UK homes and businesses by 2021. Aberdeen is the first of three Scottish cities set to undergo digital transformation as part of the scheme, with Edinburgh and Stirling to follow later in 2018.
The work is being delivered by GCU Ltd on CityFibre’s behalf, starting with streets in Kincorth and Cummings Park, with Smithfield starting soon after. The company will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly, while working closely with the council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out with minimum disruption to residents.
Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s City Development Manager for Aberdeen, said: “We’re at a really exciting stage of our fibre-to-the-premises roll out in Aberdeen as the build work gets underway. This investment comes at a key time for the city. Aberdeen rightly has a global reputation as a leading energy centre, but the recent downturn highlighted the urgent need for diversification. In this increasingly digital world, full fibre infrastructure beneath our streets will play a critical role in underpinning this process and delivering the city’s ambitions.
“Full fibre will allow the city to be more innovative and more productive, while attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy for generations to come. And it won’t just improve business at home – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”
Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, added: “The regional economic strategy has diversification and internationalisation at its core and the digital capability this project brings will help us deliver on those ambitions. Businesses can access news ways of working and enjoy a competitive advantage while residents will also benefit from the increased connectivity. The economic and social returns promise to be enormous.
“When it comes to digital transformation Aberdeen City Council is leading the way, as you might expect from a city renowned for its technological innovation. The partnership with CityFibre and Vodafone is also a pioneering way of delivering new infrastructure, where the financial commitment we have made through the Aberdeen City Region Deal has leveraged £40 million of private investment.”
Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is only available to less than four per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the ‘gold standard’ in connectivity for its speed, near unlimited bandwidth and reliability. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps). Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to residential customers in Aberdeen. To find out more and register your interest visit: www.vodafone.co.uk/gigafast
Vodafone UK’s Chief Operating Officer Neil Blagden, said: “Residents of Aberdeen will no longer need to settle for slow, unreliable broadband. We aim to start offering our Vodafone Gigafast Broadband service from early next year once the build phase is well underway.
“It will give home broadband speeds of around 900Mbps - about 20 times the current UK average - and will allow customers to surf the Internet, download HD films, play games online and upload videos at the same time, using multiple devices, without interruption.”
To find out more about CityFibre’s Gigabit City vision for Aberdeen visit: www.cityfibre.com/Aberdeen