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Digital Transformation Project to Drive Dundee Smart City Ambitions

David Paul

,

CityFibre Dundee

The city is set to kickstart its digital transformation as the network provider begins work installing full-fibre across the city.

Broadband infrastructure firm CityFibre has begun plans to extend its current network in Dundee as part of a £40m private investment.

CityFibre’s construction work aims to get full-fibre into almost every home and business across the area, providing a boost to connectivity in the city.

The company says Dundee will “benefit from the state-of-the-art full-fibre network roll-out,” which, according to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, will have a “major impact in Dundee over the next 15 years”.

The research indicates that installation of full-fibre city-wide could add up to £27m to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £32m locally.

Access to the network could also unlock £30m in “business productivity and innovation,” while a further £13m in growth could be driven from new business start-ups, with enhanced connectivity making it easier and less expensive to set up base and run efficiently.

Commenting on the roll-out, CityFibre’s City Manager for Dundee, Allan McEwan, said: “For people across Dundee, their digital future is just around the corner. Work is now underway and that is something to be celebrated.

“Full Fibre broadband will help households access all the latest entertainment at lightning speed, but the benefits are far deeper than that – from enabling smart home technology to giving people the freedom to work from home with ease.

“The investment also comes at a critical time for Dundee’s business community. Next-generation full-fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business locally – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”

CityFibre says construction has already begun in the Lochee area of the city, with contractor GCU UK carrying out the work.

Although not yet live, the full-fibre network service will be available from a range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Across the UK, CityFibre says it is already working with a number of ISPs, including Vodafone and TalkTalk, to deliver “next-generation broadband services” to Scotland.

Alison Henderson, Chief Executive of Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce, said: “Investment in infrastructure is hugely important in enabling Dundee to move forward.

“As we have seen in 2020, many more people are working from home and that flexibility in working habits is definitely going to be adopted as a way forward. Home and workplace broadband speeds coupled with network resilience and good connectivity remain vital features in giving everyone choice.

“We’re very pleased to see this investment which will future-proof Dundee and allow businesses to improve productivity, invest in their own technology and equip people with the right tools to do their jobs, now and in the coming years.”

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Dundee is the latest in a series of Scottish cities, including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Stirling, that CityFibre has carried out network infrastructure projects as part of its £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme.

The string of network projects will “support the digital needs of homes, businesses, mobile networks and public services for generations” while driving sustainable and inclusive economic growth across Scotland, the company said.

CityFibre believes that a national roll-out could create more than 5,000 construction jobs across the UK and stimulate local economic growth in the region of £85 billion, a much-needed boost after the economic impact of Covid-19.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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