CityFibre and Vodafone have announced they are going to launch consumer fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) broadband services over CityFibre’s existing fibre backbone in Aberdeen.
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Aberdeen has long been at the forefront of full-fibre development in the UK, driven by a supportive local council and a demanding local enterprise base in the oil and gas sector.
Full-fibre provider Hyperoptic, which specialises in FTTP services in new-build and multiple-occupancy residential premises, has also operating in Aberdeen for a couple of years and claims to have a base of several thousand customers in the city.
Around £40m of private funds will be pumped into extending its network in Aberdeen, while Vodafone will act as the exclusive internet service provider (ISP) on the network under the terms of an agreement signed in November 2017. The two firms have already started work on a similar project in Milton Keynes.
“This announcement represents a significant step forward in delivering connectivity which will change the lives of residents and give businesses access to new ways of working,” said Aberdeen City Council co-leader, Douglas Lumsden.
“Aberdeen City Council is determined to lead from the front in digital transformation and enhance the city’s standing on the global stage.
“The collaboration with CityFibre and Vodafone is a wonderful example of our partnership approach in action – where the financial commitment we have made will leverage £40m of private investment in our city’s infrastructure.”
Fergus Ewing, Scottish government cabinet secretary for the rural economy and connectivity, said the announcement proved the devolved administration’s Reaching 100% (R100) plan was working.
“We are focusing our £600m investment in Scotland’s rural areas, while also creating the right environment to encourage commercial providers like CityFibre and Vodafone to invest in our urban areas,” said Ewing. “Our approach will ensure we meet our commitment to deliver 100% superfast broadband access across Scotland by the end of 2021.”
Construction work is set to begin in July 2018, with the objective of covering nearly every home and business in Aberdeen. A live service is currently set to launch in early 2019, and local residents can already register their interest in receiving it.