Edinburgh will be home to a 150km gigabit fibre network in the future after a deal was struck by CityFibre to install superfast services in the Scottish capital.
The project will be carried out by CityFibre in conjunction with Commsworld, a network service provider based in the city. The first stage of the rollout will see 50km of network installed in central Edinburgh, with construction scheduled to begin in the summer. This will bring speeds of up to 1Gbps to around 7,000 businesses.
Scotland’s deputy first minister, John Swinney, said CityFibre's decision to rollout the network was a vital step towards securing the digital future of the city.
“CityFibre’s partnership with Commsworld, a respected and established Scottish digital business, will support the growth of Edinburgh's thriving business community as well as other bandwidth-hungry organisations in the city,” he said.
Rob Hamlin, director of business development at CityFibre told V3 there was growing demand from businesses like those in Edinburgh for ever-faster internet services.
“Edinburgh is a thriving market with a strong business sector and we are seeing increasing demand from the sectors we operate in for fibre services, which we will believe will become the norm over time,” he said.
Hamlin cited the use of cloud computing, VoIP and video calls and file transfers as key requirements from many companies, although on some levels the need for fibre is also to serve as a replacement for poor existing services.
“We sometimes hear from businesses that even sending large email attachments is a problem and they can’t do that from their office locations because the broadband speed is not sufficient,” he said.
“But with cloud and video services and the like becoming the norm, they will only work efficiently with the sort of quality of bandwidth we can provide.”
The company also said the network could potentially be used to form the backbone of fibre services to consumers in the city.
Hamlin also told V3 that the firm's rollout in Peterborough, which began around a year ago, is now "99 percent complete" and that 1,000 firms, around 25 percent of those based in the city, have already pre-registered interest in the services.
The CityFibre deal comes amid numerous rollouts of broadband services around Scotland, with BT currently deploying services across the country, including the Highlands and Islands.
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