City communications


12 July 2023

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Work to upgrade South Tyneside’s digital foundations with fast, reliable and future-proof full fibre network connectivity is now underway after CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, started construction works in the Laygate area of the town.

CityFibre is investing £42m in bringing this new technology to homes and businesses in South Tyneside, ensuring it’s able to serve residents’ data needs for decades to come.

Locally, the rollout is being completed by GCU UK Ltd, who will work closely with CityFibre and the South Tyneside Council to ensure any disruption is managed safely and efficiently. In the Dean Road area, recent path reinstatement works led by the Council and full fibre installation by CityFibre were combined to minimise disruption and the need for separate works. Teams will typically remain in each area for up to three days at a time, and residents will be contacted ahead of any work starting.

The project is expected to be completed by 2025 but the first services will go live for people to take advantage of much sooner.

Speaking of the project, Steph Carter-Smith, CityFibre’s Partnership Manager for South Tyneside said: “Our full fibre rollout is continuing to gain momentum across the North East, and we are excited to see our plans now progressing in South Tyneside. Delivering lightning-fast and reliable broadband to homes and businesses across the area is a huge undertaking, but once the network is built, it will serve the community’s increasing connectivity needs for years to come.

“We have been working with our build partner GCU for many years, and know that they will deliver the project quickly, with as little disruption as possible to residents. I would like to thank the local community for their patience as we work to make South Tyneside a leader in digital connectivity.”

Full fibre networks use 100% fibre optics to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This gives users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, near limitless bandwidth and reliable connectivity.

A full fibre connection also goes far beyond simply enabling access to the latest entertainment at lightning speed. Full fibre boosts households and businesses, with experts saying it will drive a range of economic benefits, such as making us more productive and innovative.

Cllr Joanne Bell, Lead Member for Governance, Finance and Corporate Services at South Tyneside Council, added: “As so many of us are now aware, strong digital connectivity has become the cornerstone of modern life.

“The delivery of gigabit capable broadband is great news for homes, schools, services and businesses across the Borough and will support residents to get quicker access to information online for work, study or leisure.

“The importance of fast, reliable broadband speeds cannot be overstated, it is crucial to our communities and support the Council’s ambitions of connecting people to job, skills and learning, supporting stronger communities and targeting support to make things fairer.

“We welcome CityFibre’s significant investment to safeguard the future of our community’s digital infrastructure and are confident that it will not just bring faster broadband, but a host of social and economic benefits too.”

As the new network goes live in South Tyneside, customers will be able to access full fibre enabled services via a choice of providers, including CityFibre’s UK launch partner, Vodafone, on selected Vodafone Pro Broadband plans, TalkTalk, Zen, Giganet and IDNet, with other providers expected to join the network soon.

People interested in upgrading their home’s digital connection to full fibre can find out more about the build, pre-register their interest and ensure they are updated on service availability here.