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Ultra-fast service unveiled

New Gigabit City plan aims to plug internet concerns

digital economyAn online poll of IT decision makers from Scottish businesses has shown the country’s broadband is worse than in other parts of the UK.

This is despite 61% of IT decision makers citing improved internet connectivity as key in supporting economic growth.

Commissioned by CityFibre, the poll found 92% of respondents view the quality and speed of internet connectivity as being important to the success of their company.

Improved internet connectivity was the most commonly cited driver behind economic and business growth (61%).

This ranks higher than lower taxes (48%), improved national and international transport links (59% and 37% respectively) and more house building (23%).

The findings coincide with an event on Thursday to mark the official launch of Edinburgh as a Gigabit City after which businesses will be able to sign up to receive ultra-fast internet services through a 150km pure fibre network.

Those behind the survey say it shows some alarming concerns. Some 40% of respondents said poor internet connections had a negative impact on their company while 65% said it would cause a drop in office productivity.

A further 42% said it would affect their ability to grow and 69% said their customer service standards would suffer as a result. Worryingly, many companies (47%) felt that poor internet would adversely affect their decision to invest in new technology such as cloud services.

Most believed that cost efficiency and productivity would improve should gigabit speed internet become commonplace.

CityFibre’s city development manager, James McClafferty, said: “Fast, reliable broadband connectivity is vital in modern business. The fact that 61% of the IT decision makers we polled in Scotland agree and yet over half (52%) of them rate their current service as substandard should be a real concern.”

Richard Nicol, chief executive of Commsworld, CityFibre’s partner in Scotland, added: “The digital advances in Scotland over the past five to ten years have been phenomenal and the amount of new digital businesses appearing that are helping to grow the economy is fantastic.

“However, without the proper infrastructure there will always be a limit to what can be achieved and at some point capacity will become a huge issue. These IT decision makers are the first people who will start to see these limitations being reached and that is reflected in their responses.

“What CityFibre are bringing to Edinburgh is a game changer that future proofs the city for decades to come and offers the chance for substantial economic growth as well as a host of other business and social benefits.”

On completion, the Edinburgh fibre network will span 150km – 50km of which will serve Edinburgh city centre. It is intended that the 7,000 businesses within reach of the network will benefit.

The network will be built based on CityFibre’s ‘Well Planned City’ model which accommodates current and future capacity requirements from the business community, public sector, mobile operators and datacentre providers.

New appointment in north east

Bob BaxterCommsworld, has underlined its’ ambitious growth plans in the North East of Scotland with the appointment of Bob Baxter as senior sales executive.

Mr Baxter 59 (left), brings 22 years of experience in the oil and gas industry with a proven track record of delivering results having previously worked in senior business development roles at Schlumberger Information Solutions, Harris Caprock and Vodafone.

He joins from CGI where he was tasked with bringing in completely new accounts within Oil and Gas upstream industry.

He said: “I was attracted by the huge appetite for growth and the self-belief that is apparent at Commsworld, its’ compelling story and the personalities of the team behind it.

“I grew up with IT & Telecoms in the Oil & Gas sector and my experience working for the big firms like T-Mobile and Vodafone makes me appreciate the flexibility and personal approach provided by Commsworld, which is something that more and more businesses are looking for in a network provider.”

The firm already offers network provision in Aberdeen where specialist engineers have installed equipment in key points of presence around the city – a process known as “unbundling exchanges” which allows Commsworld to offer local businesses its various products and services.

Mr Baxter added: “More expansion through the unbundling work is planned for this year and with the introduction of the CityFibre ultra-fast network, which aims to turn Aberdeen into a Gigabit city boasting ultra-fast internet connectivity, there is huge potential in this market.”

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