Southend joins growing ranks of Gigabit City projects

Southend joins growing ranks of Gigabit City projects

17 March 2016

CityFibre has been selected by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to supply a 50km future-proof dark fibre network connecting 120 key public sector sites throughout the town. The deal, worth £3.24 million over ten years, will provide scalable, ultra-fast connectivity to underpin the council’s ambitious digital strategy and make Southend CityFibre’s latest Gigabit City.

The new network will provide Southend-on-Sea Borough Council with a dark fibre platform from which they can upgrade the existing connectivity provided to sites including schools, colleges and council offices. Many of these key sites are currently served by legacy BT Openreach connections, frequently delivered over out-dated copper wires. These sites will be migrated to the new network as it is built, providing them with ultra-fast, pure fibre services.

As a Gigabit City, Southend will experience the benefits enjoyed by other CityFibre project cities. The new infrastructure will enable the Council to deliver cost-effective and efficient digital public sector services, whilst catalysing business growth and inward investment. Mobile masts can be connected to the network to support upgrades to 4G and 5G services, and ultimately the network can provide a backbone for Fibre to the Home deployment.

As with all CityFibre’s Gigabit City projects, the new network will be made available on a wholesale-basis to service providers. These will then be able to offer the majority of Southend’s 6,000 businesses affordable access to gigabit speed services. These ultra-fast services are vastly superior to those endured by many businesses throughout the country and will provide them with a huge competitive advantage.

Commenting on the deal, Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre said: “We’re delighted to add Southend to growing ranks of Gigabit City projects across the UK. Southend demonstrates many of the key indicators of success. It has a forward thinking council with an ambitious digital strategy and the appetite to become a leading example of a smart city while its business community is growing and hungry for best-in-breed connectivity options.”

Cllr Ian Gilbert, Executive Member for Community & Organisational Development, said: "Connectivity is a critical issue for today's businesses, so this has the potential to be a massive boost to jobs and investment in the town." “Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is delighted with its selection of CityFibre as its provider of ultra-fast network connectivity for the borough. The solution will not only provide a stepped improvement in connectivity for Council premises and schools but also offer solutions for businesses and residential premises. The partnership reflects the Council’s commitment to sustainable economic growth and improved opportunity for all.”