by Jean Gowin - City Development Manager - Milton Keynes
In my last article
I spoke of Milton Keynes’ future and how I envision it will look once it is fuelled by a full fibre digital infrastructure. It’s an exciting time for the city because digital connectivity has the power to transform our lives completely. From utilising the latest tech and entertainment systems at home to having safer streets thanks to smart city projects, the possibilities really are endless. This time I wanted to share some of the activities taking place across MK and how the CityFibre team and network are already impacting our city.
Fuelling the future
CityFibre began building gigabit infrastructure in MK in 2016. Since then, some of the city’s most high-profile businesses have connected, including the MK Dons Stadium and The Open University.
As an MK local, I was delighted when MK became the first place to benefit from our strategic partnership with Vodafone to reach one million homes and businesses with full fibre internet connectivity by 2021. Construction in the first areas of MK is now complete and Vodafone are trialling services in homes. The response from trialists has been fantastic so far. Vodafone’ first customer Micaela Perez Amaro, a dance instructor, had to visit relatives in London if she wanted to send dance videos to her students because her internet connection wasn’t good enough. Since transferring to a full fibre connection, she has been able to finally work from her own home - and to top it off the whole family can use the internet at the same time without issue.
Unearthing MK’s digital secret
By now, I’m sure you will have seen our Coppersaurus, which was ‘unearthed’ outside the train station. The statue, a symbol of our country’s prehistoric digital infrastructure, is part of our campaign to push the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to change the way the term ‘fibre’ is used in broadband advertising.
We chose to launch the UK wide campaign in MK since it’s the first city in our fibre to the premises (FTTP) roll out with Vodafone, not to mention that the community have really engaged and embraced MK’s digital transformation so far.
We believe it’s important for consumers to understand what they are buying when it comes to broadband connectivity and we want it to be easier for everyone to distinguish between part and full fibre connectivity. At the moment, less than 4 per cent of premises in the country have access to a full fibre connection – with the majority making do with part fibre connections, which rely on copper wiring to complete the connection to buildings. Part fibre connections deliver significantly slower and far less reliable broadband, which is certainly not something fit for our growing digital needs.
Giving back to the community
At CityFibre we want to be a part of MK’s journey as it strives for success. As a local resident, I already know that we have a great community spirit, it’s one of the things I love most about my city.
We’ve supported the MK Hospital Charity
Cancer Centre Appeal which aims to raise £15 million to fund a new state-of-the-art cancer centre which will help transform cancer care for patients, their families and the staff who treat them.
Our team got behind the campaign and encouraged our construction partners Granemore to help by hosting a tea party along our build routes. We’ve also held bake sales in the office and supported the campaign launch activities. As there is still £2.5 million to raise for this fantastic cause we have more fun fundraising activities planned to support the appeal throughout the year.
We have also supported the MK MS Therapy Centre
with fundraising activities in our office and been involved in other city community initiatives which help MK thrive.
With live services set to launch this autumn, we’re on the cusp of something great and I certainly cannot wait to see what our incredible community can do with a world class digital infrastructure supporting our growth.
Jean Gowin is CityFibre's City Development Manager for Milton Keynes. This article was first published in the August edition of MK Pulse.
To find out more about the Gigabit City infrastructure in Milton Keynes visit: www.cityfibre.com/mk
or follow @gigabitmk