Friday, July 3, 2020

Work to transform Derby into one of the world’s best digitally connected cities begins

Derby is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation as work begins to extend its full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the town.

As part of an initial £45m private investment from CityFibre, Derby will benefit from the state-of-the-art full fibre network roll-out. The full fibre network is not yet live, but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers.

Construction work has officially commenced in the Mackworth area, with Abbey, Mickleover, Allestree and Darley set to follow later this year. J. McCann & Co Ltd is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf.

As key workers, CityFibre has been asked by the UK Government to continue to expand the nation’s digital capacity. All contractors are being urged to follow the social distancing protocols as outlined by Public Health England to ensure build partners’ safety.

Dominika Walker, CityFibre’s City Manager for Derby, said: “For people across Derby, their digital future is just around the corner. Work is now underway way 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 lockdown has demonstrated how essential a fast, reliable broadband service is for both businesses and residents. While the current crisis is not without its challenges, we are motivated to maintain progress and play our part in providing the digital infrastructure that will support home-workers in their day-to-day lives and enable residents to keep in touch with loved ones and access important online services.”

According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, full fibre connectivity will have a major impact in Derby over the next 15 years. It shows that up to £70m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £69m locally.

Access to full fibre could also unlock £39m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £21m 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.

Councillor Matthew Holmes, Derby City Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transportation said: “We welcome this private investment by CityFibre into Derby to deliver a modern, state of the art infrastructure that will futureproof connectivity for residents and businesses.

“It’s one example of why Derby City Council continues to work closely with the private sector to facilitate economic growth. CityFibre’s full fibre network will be vital in ensuring Derby has a resilient and dynamic economy for years to come and will also boost productivity and restart growth after COVID-19.

“Derby’s new fibre infrastructure will play an important part in our recovery plan and the benefits across every area of Derby will be huge.”

Construction work on Derby’s next-generation full fibre network is due to last up to five years, creating more than 100 construction jobs. The project will bring almost all residents and businesses in the city within reach of the future-proof network and gigabit-speed broadband services.

John McCann, Managing Director at McCann, said: “This is a landmark project for our team to be involved with and we are proud to play our part in ensuring a very bright future for the city of Derby.”

“This scheme, along with similar projects across the UK, will transform large areas – gearing them up for the future of connectivity in order to attract businesses, visitors and improve the lives of residents.”

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