Former altnet CityFibre, which is now the UK’s largest independent full-fibre platform, has revealed plans to expand its network in Scotland by extending its £40m project to bring gigabit connectivity to homes and businesses across Aberdeen.
Representing an additional investment of £19m, the move is designed to enable thousands more homes beyond CityFibre’s original build footprint to access its full-fibre network and reliable high-speed broadband services from a number of providers, including Vodafone, TalkTalk, Zen and GraniteGiG by Converged.
In October 2021, CityFibre claimed a major milestone when it passed 500km of fibre cabling laid across Aberdeen, three years after starting work on its network. Now, in response to what it says is huge demand for full-fibre services, more areas are being added to the roll-out. Build partner GCU is delivering the project on CityFibre’s behalf.
Homes in Woodside, Garthdee, Ruthrieston, Mannofield, Kincorth, Broomhill, Cove, Kaimhill, Ferryhill, Northfield, Tillydrone, Rosehill, Hazlehead, Airyhall, Mannofield, Hilton, Seaton and Torry are now ready for service. Other areas yet to go live but set to benefit from the roll-out include Bridge of Don, Bucksburn, Stoneywood, Dyce, Rosemount, Mastrick, Sheddocksley, and some areas of Aberdeen city centre, with the extended project now expected to be largely complete by the end of this year.
In 2017, CityFibre connected schools, libraries and other public buildings in the city in partnership with Capita as part of the Scotland-Wide Area Network (SWAN) programme that was set up to establish a single shared network and common ICT infrastructure across Scotland’s entire public sector. After the award of this project, which was funded via the Aberdeen City Region Deal, CityFibre committed £40m of private investment to deliver its full-fibre network to homes and businesses across the city.
Jenny Laing, vice-chair of the Aberdeen City Region Deal and leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “In 2017, the Aberdeen City Region Deal invested in core digital infrastructure across the city. Roll forward to 2021 and thanks to that investment stimulating private investment from CityFibre, Aberdeen is now a gigabit city. This new announcement, committing additional investment into the city, will allow more residents and businesses to access better and faster speeds as well as competitive pricing.”
Scottish government economy secretary Kate Forbes added: “This is a welcome boost for thousands of householders and was enabled by £2m funding from the Scottish government, as part of our £10m commitment to digital projects in the region. This is in addition to our commitments to fund digital infrastructure via the Aberdeen City Deal, delivering inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the North East.
“Accessing fast and reliable broadband has never been so important as we build a sustainable recovery from the pandemic. That is why the Scottish government is making substantial investments in digital infrastructure to ensure all of Scotland has access to high-speed internet.”
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