Infrastructure provider CityFibre and Scottish firm Commsworld have partnered to build a 150km fibre network through and around Edinburgh in a project the pair claim will put the capital on par with fibre hotspots, Stockholm, Seoul and Kansas City.
Construction of the network is set to begin this summer with the roll-out described as being tied to demand from local businesses, boosted it is hoped by business grants from the Super Connected Cities Scheme.
The first phase of 50km would target central Edinburgh, within reach of 7,000 businesses, the firms said. Longer term, the project would be extended beyond businesses to home connnections as well as to support 4G and 5G.
“With thriving financial, tech and media sectors, Edinburgh’s businesses are poised to take advantage of a digital head-start, providing them with a competitive advantage at home and abroad,” said CityFibre CEO, Greg Mesch.
“We are seeing huge demand for ultra-fast connectivity and as we continue this shift to service based economies, a modern digital infrastructure could not be more critical to a city’s success.”
CityFibre has already installed 500km of fibre in York, Peterborough, Coventry and Aberdeen, the first of what it calls its ‘Gigabit cities’ although the Edinburgh project is its largest to date.
“As Scotland’s largest Gigabit City, Edinburgh will have a unique selling point as one of the foremost digitally connected locations anywhere in Europe and we are delighted to see CityFibre continue its investment in Scotland,” commented John Swinney, Scottish Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Constitution and Economy.
In November, CityFibre signed a deal with EE and Three UK and Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL) to deploy backhaul dark fibre in anticipation of traffic growth that will be fuelled by 4G.