- Next generation network across Cheltenham is open for business.
- New 16.65km expansion to existing core network delivers full fibre connectivity at gigabit speeds
- Infrastructure and collaboration key to region’s economic growth and digital innovation
Cheltenham, 14th June 2019: Bamboo Technology Group Ltd (Bamboo), the leading provider of managed ICT services, has announced the launch of Cheltenham’s new full fibre network with CityFibre, the UK’s largest alternative provider of fibre network infrastructure. The launch marks Cheltenham as the latest town to unlock its digital potential.
CityFibre’s 16.65km expansion to its core network forms a ring around the centre of Cheltenham and enables businesses to access ultrafast Internet speeds that will help transform their performance, improve their efficiency and drive their success.
Members of the local business community joined Bamboo and CityFibre to celebrate the network launch at The Queens Hotel on Thursday 6th June and to learn more about the importance of the region’s communication infrastructure.
The event’s speakers included Lorrin White, Managing Director of Bamboo, Paul North, Head of Sales at CityFibre’s wholesale team and Jeremy Williamson, Managing Director of Cheltenham Development Task Force.
CityFibre’s Paul North started by exploring the need for changes to our national connectivity infrastructure, in response to the exponential year on year growth in data consumption.
“Digital transformation sees us using more data than ever before,” explains North. “In 1992, Internet traffic totalled just 100GB per day. By 2002, that had increased to 100GB per second and it is estimated that in 2022, we will be using a massive 150,700GB of data per second. However, Broadband speeds in the UK, as well as the infrastructure needed to deliver them, have not kept up with the pace of change.
“Historically, the most successful cities have been those with a solid infrastructure – and that remains true today. The UK is very much a service-based economy and yet only 7% of premises currently have access to full fibre infrastructure – ranking us far behind the vast majority of our developed counterparts in Europe and beyond.
“CityFibre’s model builds one network to serve all users, from providing reliable, ultrafast connectivity to businesses, the public sector and domestic users to powering mobile services. Over the next 15 years, the economic impact of the full fibre network in Cheltenham represents an increase in GDP of £765m1.”
Jeremey Williamson, Managing Director of Cheltenham Development Task Force, focused on the changing face of our town centres, and specifically Cheltenham’s own response to the 2011 Portas Review. He stressed that collaboration is key – the retail sector is just one component and leisure, hospitality, town centre living, employment, accessibility and connectivity all contribute to the success or otherwise of our towns and high streets.
“Together CityFibre and Bamboo can now deliver the connectivity infrastructure that businesses and other ventures across the town have been crying out for,” says Williamson. “The way people want to live and work is changing and future-ready connectivity sits firmly at the core. If we can get the infrastructure right, then we can solve the work life paradigm and support our digital future.”
The need for collaboration was also the primary message from Lorrin White, Managing Director of Bamboo. Referring to the most recent Strategic Economic Plan for Gloucestershire (GFirst LEP, 2018), White reported that a very impressive 70.3 % of our businesses are ‘innovation active’ – compared to a national average of 55.1%. In contrast to this, there is a recognised weakness in attracting and retaining younger talent in particular; something that is imperative for us to remedy if we are to continue the trend for innovation, as well as the associated economic growth.
“Key projects across the county such as The Growth Hub, Gloucestershire Airport and the newly opened UK Digital Retail Innovation Centre all rely on connectivity” says White “and the CityFibre networks in Cheltenham and Gloucester provide a great catalyst for the region’s digital economy. As a business community, we have a collective responsibility and obligation to work together and start the daisy chain effect that will keep the network growing and delivering benefits for all.
“This is our opportunity to connect Cheltenham (and Gloucester) and take our digital economies to where they need to be. A futureproof infrastructure will help us to draw in the next generation of talented workers meaning both our region and our businesses can continue to thrive.”