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Peterborough launches Digital City programme

Initiatives such as a superfast fibre network and cloud computing services are part of the city’s digital drivers as it launches its Digital City Peterborough programme

Peterborough aims to create a digital economy and revolutionise the way it does business through its Digital City Peterborough programme.

Peterborough City Council launched the programme today (Tuesday 1 December 2015) with the aim of creating a “cutting-edge digital ecosystem”, which the council said will transform the lives and prospects of residents and businesses.

Peterborough has already deployed an ultrafast citywide fibre network which connects 107 public sector sites “with a new wave of ubiquitous gigabit-speed services” which is being extended to businesses in the city. The connectivity means users can transfer large amounts of data in around a minute.

Richard Godfrey, assistant director digital at the council, said the programme will position Peterborough as Britain’s digital epicentre, becoming one of the most digitally advanced cities in the world, alongside places such as Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore.

“It is at the heart of the UK and is a much more affordable destination for businesses to operate from than the capital, which is only under an hour away,” Godfrey said.

“The growing digital ecosystem means all stakeholders are interconnected and able meet the requirements of an ever more digitally driven world.”

Digital City Peterborough initiatives include the fibre network, which has boosted the city’s digital and cloud capabilities, “enabling 40x faster than superfast speeds of 24mbps”, Godfrey said. The cloud services are now accessible for companies and the programme has already attracted 150 businesses to connect to the network.

In 2014, Peterborough City Council launched its cloud-enabled technology strategy to improve how it connects with citizens. As part of the strategy, the council aims to use mobile, data and open-source technologies, and cloud platforms to engage with the public alongside social media and a more simplified website.

The Digital City programme also aims to attract businesses, from smaller scale startups to multinational companies, with its digital initiatives.

It is also working to grow digital talent and the programme will work with schools and colleges to make sure the skills are available.

Alex Shaw, head of labs at comparethemarket.com, said the company’s technology capability has allowed it to exploit benefits such as digital capabilities and technology talent.

“Our research also shows that Peterborough has seen a 373% increase in jobs, making it the second for job availability in the UK. I would urge all businesses looking to lead the way in digital, to consider investing in this prosperous city,” Shaw said.     

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