UK fibre broadband network provider CityFibre has started work to transform Sheffield into one of the world’s best digitally connected cities.
Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone to deliver next generation broadband services and TalkTalk is expected to join the network soon. The company has invested £115 million to extend its full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the Sheffield area.
Research from economic consultancy Regeneris shows that full fibre connectivity could add up to £162 million to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £113 million locally. The study claimed that access to full fibre could also unlock £78 million in business productivity and innovation, while a further £43 million in growth could be driven from new business start-ups.
Construction work has begun in Darnall and Wybourn, with the rest of the city set to follow over the next four years. O’Connor Utilities is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf, working closely with CityFibre, Sheffield City Council and local communities to minimise disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out.
CityFibre has appointed Natalie Ward as city manager to spearhead the Sheffield project, acting as a key point of liaison between the wider community and the CityFibre team. She will also work to raise awareness of the benefits of full fibre technology. Commenting on the project, she said: "This past year has really demonstrated the remarkable versatility of the internet and how much we depend upon all things digital. We want to ensure that as many homes as possible in Sheffield are linked to full fibre.
“The investment will also have a transformative impact on Sheffield’s forward-thinking business community. Next generation full-fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions.”
Bob Johnson, Sheffield City Council leader, said: “We welcome this private investment by CityFibre into Sheffield to deliver a modern, state of the art digital infrastructure that will futureproof connectivity for residents...Sheffield’s new digital infrastructure will play an important part in our recovery plan, with a resilient and dynamic economy this will boost productivity and restart growth after Covid-19."