Nearly every home and business in Swindon will gain access to next-generation broadband thanks to a major investment by CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform.
Swindon is to benefit from an investment of £40 million, as part of CityFibre’s plans to replace the nation’s legacy networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.
The new infrastructure is expected to boost business productivity and innovation and deliver millions of pounds in economic benefits for Swindon, while giving residents access to the UK’s fastest broadband services.
Detailed planning is already underway as CityFibre designs a network capable of serving Swindon’s current and future demands. Upon completion, the network will be in reach of nearly every home and business in the town and will provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications and the roll-out of 5G mobile services.
CityFibre has appointed Neil Madle as City Manager to spearhead delivery of the Swindon project, which is due to commence in October. In this role, Neil will be responsible for ensuring the full fibre network is implemented with minimal disruption, while delivering maximum benefit for the wider community.
Neil will be the lead point of contact for all the town’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring to Swindon’s residents and businesses.
Neil said: “I’m delighted to be joining an organisation that is doing everything it can to transform towns and cities across the country. Our digital infrastructure plays a crucial role in growing and protecting local economies, even more so during these unprecedented times when connectivity has proven vital to residents, businesses and public services alike.”
Neil has detailed knowledge of the Swindon area, initially working as a reporter on local newspapers before representing Swindon-based technology firms such as Raychem (now Tyco) and Equiinet in senior communications roles.
VolkerSmart Technologies is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf, using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly. The company is following social distancing protocol to ensure the build team’s safety, as well as that of the general public.
Alistair Thompson, Managing Director of VolkerSmart Technologies, said: “We are pleased to work on this additional contract for CityFibre in Swindon, following our previous work rolling out a Full Fibre network in Ipswich. It’s great to be part of an enterprise that transforms communities’ digital experiences, by giving them more reliable broadband.”
CityFibre will be working closely with Swindon Borough Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Residents are being kept informed by door-to-door teams and mailings ahead of works commencing in their streets.
The network is not yet live but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. 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.
David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council, welcomed the announcement, adding: “Every modern, vibrant economy needs access to fast broadband and we have made it a priority to ensure residents and businesses in Swindon are able to benefit from the latest technology.
“We welcome CityFibre’s investment in our town as it furthers our aim of providing a future-proofed, Full Fibre digital infrastructure and a greater choice for the people of Swindon.”