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Investment to benefit 7,000 businesses

Edinburgh poised for top spot with ultra-fast digital connections

Ricky NicolEdinburgh is poised to become one of the most digitally advanced cities in the world after infrastructure provider CityFibre today confirmed it will build an ultra-fast fibre network in the city.

The project will be CityFibre’s largest Gigabit City investment and its second in Scotland. The project, to be delivered in partnership with Commsworld, will benefit 7,000 businesses.

The city-wide, fibre network will transform Edinburgh’s digital infrastructure, enabling gigabit speed, world class connectivity – a stated aim of the Scottish Government – and dramatically accelerating its digital capabilities.

CityFibre and Edinburgh-based Commsworld have estimated that the first phase of deployment, 50km of a 150km network focused on central Edinburgh, will bring gigabit speeds up to 100 times faster than the UK’s average.

Construction will commence this summer and detailed planning is already under way. CityFibre has already delivered Gigabit City projects in Aberdeen, Coventry, Peterborough and York.

CityFibre said the precise level of investment in the Edinburgh project is “yet to be determined, as it will be driven in large part by demand from the local market”. The greater the interest in services delivered over the network, the more extensive the network deployment will be.

Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre, said: “CityFibre has gathered considerable pace in the last 12 months and we are delighted to be embarking on our biggest Gigabit City project yet which underlines the scale of our ambition. With thriving financial, tech and media sectors, Edinburgh’s businesses are poised to take advantage of a digital head-start, providing them with a competitive advantage at home and abroad. We are seeing huge demand for ultra-fast connectivity and as we continue this shift to service based economies, a modern digital infrastructure could not be more critical to a city’s success.”

Richard Nicol, Commsworld’s chief executive (pictured), said: “As a company constantly looking for new ways of improving communication solutions for businesses, we are hugely excited to have partnered with CityFibre to bring the benefits of pure fibre connectivity to our customers and to the City of Edinburgh as a whole. Ultra-fast, gigabit connectivity appeals hugely to digitally dependant businesses and this is only going to grow with time. It will soon become the standard, driving productivity, innovation and the bottom line.”

John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary, welcomed CityFibre’s investment in Edinburgh’s digital infrastructure.

“The future-proofed fibre infrastructure that will be delivered, alongside CityFibre’s recently announced investment in Aberdeen, will make a key contribution to our vision of Scotland having world class digital connectivity by 2020,” he said.

“As Scotland’s largest Gigabit City, Edinburgh will have a unique selling point as one of the foremost digitally connected locations anywhere in Europe and we are delighted to see CityFibre continue its investment in Scotland.”

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