Peterborough is named as UK’s first Gigabit City after £30m investment

From left,  Andy Starnes,  city development manager for CityFibre, Peterborough City Council leader Cllr Marco Cereste, and Rob Baldacci, managing director of Businesscoms.
From left, Andy Starnes, city development manager for CityFibre, Peterborough City Council leader Cllr Marco Cereste, and Rob Baldacci, managing director of Businesscoms.

Peterborough has officially been declared a Gigabit City with access to some of the fastest internet connectivity in the world.

The announcement has been made by internet infrastructure provide CityFibre, of London, which has overseen the installation of 90 kilometres of pure fibre network around Peterborough.

In less than one year Peterborough has been transformed into a Gigabit City.

Greg Mesch

The £30 million investment in the so-called Peterborough CORE has created a new digital infrastructure for the city.

It means businesses and public sector sites, including schools and Peterborough City Hospital, are now connected to the network and accessing internet speeds of up to 1,000Mbps.

Peterborough is the first Gigabit City to be completed. In the process of being completed are York, Coventry, Aberdeen and Edinburgh.

CityFibre chief executive Greg Mesch said: “In less than one year Peterborough has been transformed into a Gigabit City.

“With a future-proof digital infrastructure at its heart, Peterborough has a digital head-start on the rest of the country.

“Its public sector is already more efficient and capable of innovation while its business community is becoming more competitive and productive.”

He said there were just a few council sites to connect via its IT services provider Serco before all 107 public sector sites, including administrative offices, data centres, schools and hospitals, are up and running.

Council leader Councillor Marco Cereste said: “We cannot overstate the value of a gigabit speed digital infrastructure to our city. As a Gigabit City, we have a significant competitive advantage over other areas and can lead the way with an innovative digital strategy. Peterborough is becoming an even more attractive place to build a business.”

In addition, the Peterborough CORE is being extended to reach Orton Southgate as local businesses unite to demonstrate the demand for ultra-fast internet connectivity.

Firms in Orton Southgate have been told the new pure fibre network could be extended if there was enough demand.

As a result, more than 100 businesses registered their interest in gigabit speed internet connectivity as part of the ‘Gig Up Orton Southgate’ campaign.

The campaign also received strong backing from the Yes2Fibre campaign, led by Lindsey Hall, managing director of EasyLifeIT, based in Orton Southgate.

She said: “I’m delighted that Orton Southgate businesses will now get the opportunity to access the digital connectivity they need.

”It really is unbelievable how poor our current broadband is in this day and age. Fast reliable broadband isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity.

“This demonstrates the power of local businesses to effect change in their areas. I’m counting the days until they can connect me.”

Like other business parks outside the city centre, Orton Southgate was not on the original Peterborough CORE network route, but has joined Fengate, Lynch Wood and Cygnet Park in demonstrating high levels of demand required to extend the network to reach them.

Detailed planning has commenced and work is likely to begin in the spring.