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Fibre network supplier CityFibre is close to wrapping up a year-long project in Edinburgh that has seen it install more than 125km of fibre cable infrastructure to enable internet service providers (ISPs) to offer ultrafast business and public sector broadband services throughout the Scottish capital.
The Edinburgh dig, which is set to grow to 150km by its scheduled conclusion in September 2016, is CityFibre’s largest to date.
The objective is to provide a future-proof alternative to Edinburgh’s ageing and constrained copper network infrastructure, connecting 7,000 businesses and 300 public sector sites to gigabit-speed broadband.
“Spanning 150km, which stretched out would take you from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, the completed network will establish Edinburgh as the UK’s largest gigabit city, which is a real coup for its businesses and services,” said CityFibre head of regional development for Scotland, James McClafferty.
“Throughout the project, CityFibre has been delivering fibre connectivity to Edinburgh businesses and organisations in partnership with Commsworld, a leading Edinburgh-based telecoms network service provider and the official launch partner of the Edinburgh Gigabit City project,” he said.
“It will continue to do so after September, when it will progress ambitious plans to extend Edinburgh’s gigabit network beyond 150km.”
The project has benefited from early and enthusiastic support from Edinburgh Council, which in a major coup for CityFibre last September flipped nearly 300 sites from BT in a deal worth £5.6m over seven years.
The council is connecting its sites to the core network through Commsworld, and is also deploying new IP telephony and contact centre services as a result of its enhanced connectivity.
“We have the highest educated workforce in the UK, and adding high-quality, future-proof infrastructure makes it easier to continue that trend and attract more investment into Edinburgh,” Edinburgh Council member Frank Ross told Computer Weekly at the time.
Among the businesses connecting to the network have been local hotel chain Apex, which is taking a 100Mbps service to improve guest Wi-Fi access, and Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre, which is offering ultrafast connectivity to guests and conference attendees.
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“When faced with the failure of our original supplier to provide a dedicated fibre network to allow us to host a major conference at the Festival Theatre, we turned to CityFibre and Commsworld, who have delivered impeccably across all areas,” said Iain Ross, director of finance and human resources at the Festival and King’s Theatres.
“They ensured our public Wi-Fi network was installed in time and, as a result, we were able to provide an outstanding service to over 800 attendees, each using multiple devices. We have no doubt that the Edinburgh Gigabit City project will be of major benefit to Edinburgh and businesses operating in the city, and are delighted to have found such reliable and focused partners to provide exceptional public Wi-Fi in our theatres.”