Work to bring full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in Norwich started this month as CityFibre broke ground on a new infrastructure roll out that will futureproof the city’s digital needs for generations to come.
Construction of the £50m Norwich-wide full fibre network started in the Catton Grove area and is being delivered by Telec Networks on behalf of CityFibre. The first streets include those in and around Bullard Road, Woodcock Road, Palmer Road, Jewson Road, Aylsham Road and Weston Road. The team will use a range of construction methods while working in close partnership with Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council to deliver a fast rollout while minimising potential disruption.
Each area will usually take a few weeks to complete, however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for a few days and CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.
The overall project is expected to take around three years to complete. As the network is completed in each neighbourhood, internet service providers (ISPs) will ‘light them up’ with some of the fastest and best value broadband packages available in the country.
In Norwich services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers including Air Broadband, InTouch Systems, and Giganet. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone to supply full fibre infrastructure for customers on selected Vodafone Pro Broadband plans, while TalkTalk and other providers are expected to join the network soon.
Speaking of the project, Charles Kitchin, CityFibre’s City Manager for Norwich, comments: “I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Norwich. This is the start of a new chapter for the city as it gets ready to thrive in the digital age. It’s important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term. Once the network’s built, it will serve the community’s connectivity needs for decades to come.”
Full fibre networks, unlike many of the copper-based ‘fibre broadband’ services available today, use 100% fibre optic cables to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This gives users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, near limitless bandwidth and connectivity users can depend on.
A full fibre connection also goes far beyond simply enabling access to the latest entertainment at lightning speed. It will help keep family and friends connected in these uncertain times and support the increasing number of people who work from home. As an essential digital utility, full fibre boosts households and businesses alike, with experts saying it will drive a range of economic benefits, such as making us more productive and innovative.
Cllr Alan Waters, Leader of Norwich City Council, says: “Full fibre broadband is essential to the future of Norwich – for residents, businesses and those that are in education here. Investment in the city’s digital future is paramount to achieving one of the five key ambitions in our 2040 vision for the city: a connected city.
“We have seen the importance of broadband during the pandemic to health services, education and businesses and this infrastructure will ensure that no-one is left behind.
“This project is key as we seek to restore the local economy and support local businesses as part of our key priorities in our COVID-19 recovery plan.”
CityFibre is bringing full fibre connectivity within reach of up to 8 million homes in towns and cities across the UK as part of its up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme.