Inverness has reached a major milestone in its digital transformation, with work now underway to create a full-fibre network to reach most homes and businesses in the city.
CityFibre is investing at least £20 million to deliver the project as part of a nationwide plan to replace ageing copper-based networks with full-fibre connectivity.
Less than 12% of businesses and homes currently have access to full-fibre across the UK. Fibre optic cables offer significant and more reliable broadband service, capable of speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.
Contractor GCU UK is working on the construction of the project, having already provided services to Cradlehall, Culloden, Smithton and Westhill areas.
Allan McEwan, CityFibre’s City Manager for Inverness, commented: “Full fibre connectivity and next-generation broadband services will transform the lives of those living in Inverness.
“At a time when connectivity is becoming a critical service for many households and businesses across the country, this goes far beyond simply helping households access the latest entertainment at lightning speed.
“The benefits range from enabling smart city technologies to improve the quality of life to giving people the freedom to work efficiently from home with no buffering or bottlenecks.
“As well as enhancing our home lives, CityFibre’s full-fibre network will give the business community the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions.
By connecting properties at up to 1000 Mbps, we are putting Inverness firmly in the top tier of cities for connectivity, establishing it as a globally competitive digital destination.
“While the project has been delayed slightly due to the pandemic, we will work diligently and safely to ensure residents and businesses can benefit as quickly as possible.”
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The network is not currently live in Inverness, but once activated, it will be available to residents from several broadband providers. The company is already working with Vodafone and TalkTalk while other ISPs are expected to join the network soon.
Commenting on the investment, Malcolm Macleod, Executive Chief Officer of Infrastructure and Environment at The Highland Council, said: “We welcome CityFibre’s private investment into Inverness to deliver a modern, fit-for-purpose digital infrastructure that will futureproof homes and businesses.
“The Highland Council continues to work closely with the private sector to facilitate economic growth in the digital age and CityFibre’s full-fibre network will be vital in ensuring Inverness has a resilient and dynamic economy for years to come.”