CityFibre plans gigabit network in Aberdeen

UK network infrastructure provider CityFibre Ltd. says it plans to build a city-wide fiber-optic network in Aberdeen, thus creating Scotland’s first Gigabit City.

UK network infrastructure provider CityFibre Ltd. says it plans to build a city-wide fiber-optic network in Aberdeen, thus creating Scotland’s first Gigabit City.

Aberdeen is the latest city to be named under CityFibre’s Gigabit Cities program, which hopes to bring fiber to 500,000 businesses and up to 1 million homes (see "CityFibre plans to invest up to £500m in UK fiber rollout"). Previously selected cities include Coventry, Peterborough, and York (see "CityFibre picks Peterborough for next gigabit city" and "Sky, TalkTalk, CityFibre partner for 1-Gbps FTTH in York").

The Aberdeen project has been made possible by a collaboration with Scotland-based Internet for Business (IFB), a local and national ICT service provider with a long track record in the Aberdeen market. CityFibre say its modern digital infrastructure will bring transformational gigabit speeds within reach of over 6,000 companies as well as hundreds of public sector sites including schools, universities, libraries, hospitals, and government agency buildings across the city.

CityFibre has been working closely with IFB to prepare its multi-million pound investment in the city with plans to upgrade and migrate hundreds of business customers onto the new infrastructure. The network will be constructed in line with CityFibre’s “Well Planned City” model, accommodating current and future capacity requirements from the public and private sectors, mobile operators, and data center providers. It can also act as the backbone for any future deployment of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) for the city’s residents.

CityFibre sees the Gigabit City project as critical for Aberdeen, which has become a national economic powerhouse accounting for 28% of Scotland’s GDP and with 30% of the country’s top 100 businesses located there. It has the second highest broadband take-up rate in the UK, but an absence of any cable infrastructure. With a competitive fiber infrastructure at its heart, Aberdeen will leapfrog other Scottish cities to become the best digitally connected city in Scotland, CityFibre asserts.

Deployment is already underway and will initially focus on the center and south of the city, including key industrial estates such as Tullos and Altens, as well as the north as far as Dyce and The Bridge of Don. Subject to demand, the build program will be extended to areas in the west of the city, such as Westhill and Kingswells. CityFibre will shortly launch a demand aggregation campaign to enable businesses to register their interest and help shape the network route.

CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch commented, "We selected Aberdeen as it represents the perfect opportunity for a Gigabit City project. Its economic power, business makeup and absence of alternative network mean that Aberdeen will be in a position to take full advantage of this transformational digital infrastructure. Alongside IFB, CityFibre is honored to be able to add to the proud history of this city by building a modern digital infrastructure that will future proof Aberdeen, its businesses and residents for the next 100 years."

Commenting on the initiative, Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing said, "We are hugely excited to see CityFibre and IFB bring this project to life ensuring that Aberdeen city and shire have a next generation digital infrastructure in place to further economic growth over the coming years. CityFibre’s decision to make Aberdeen a Gigabit City helps us to realize the ambitions laid out in Accelerate Aberdeen of being at the leading edge of the digital revolution, with the world-class connectivity essential for continued growth and helps lay the foundations for significant improvements for residential customers in the future."

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