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Media-buying firm Republic of Media has been named as the first business to go live on the Edinburgh CORE network – the ultrafast gigabit fibre network being rolled out across the city by CityFibre and internet service provider Commsworld.
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The milestone comes six months after CityFibre and Commsworld got together, with support from Edinburgh council, to turn the Scottish capital into a Gigabit City, and hot on the heels of CityFibre’s recent announcement that it would also deploy a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband network in Glasgow.
In recent years, Edinburgh has established a reputation as a growing hub for digital businesses in Scotland, and Republic of Media director Simon Crunden said that having ultrafast connectivity into his firm would help guarantee the future and pace of that transformation.
“As a media-buying agency founded in the digital age, a vast proportion of what we do is to help clients make the most of online marketing opportunities,” he said.
“It is therefore essential that we have the fastest, most reliable connection available. Since hooking up to the ultrafast network earlier this month, connection speeds have been well and truly transformed, which will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the business.”
More than 350 other businesses in Edinburgh have registered their interest in the scheme, including locally-based hotel chain Apex which, as previously reported, is undergoing a concurrent network and systems upgrade.
Local interest is a key part of route planning for a CityFibre network as part of its Well Planned City operating model, and the scale of demand has already seen the planned network grow from 50km to 150km.
“The buzz since we announced this at the end of May has been absolutely incredible,” said Commsworld CEO Ricky Nicol. “We’re getting enquiries every day and, on a more personal level, business owners are asking me about it all the time.
“This level of interest means that it’s vital to actually get it to market as quickly as possible, so I’m absolutely delighted to see the first connection going live and I’m sure they will be joined by many more over the coming weeks.”
Crunden added: “When we looked to the market to find a business to help us achieve our goals, Commsworld soon emerged as an obvious choice. Being able to deal face-to-face with an Edinburgh business is very important to us, as in the past we have worked remotely with large corporations, which was far from ideal.”
The network expansion has been aided by Edinburgh city council, which threw its weight behind the project early on.
In August 2015, the council committed to use the network to supply connectivity to its offices, community centres, libraries and schools after signing a £186m outsourcing deal with CGI, adding further momentum to the process.