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Highland Council leader views CityFibre’s future-proofing broadband work in Inverness

By Calum MacLeod

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Allan McEwan (centre), Inverness city manager at CityFibre, shows Highland Council leader Councillor Margaret Davidson, some of the progess being made. Photograph: Paul Campbell
Allan McEwan (centre), Inverness city manager at CityFibre, shows Highland Council leader Councillor Margaret Davidson, some of the progess being made. Photograph: Paul Campbell

With construction of its new full fibre network for Inverness progressing across the city, CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, welcomed the leader of the Highland Council, Councillor Margaret Davidson, for a tour of the works, giving her the opportunity to see progress of the £20 million project.

During the visit, CityFibre representatives provided Cllr Davidson with an overview of the project to date, in addition to a demonstration of the typical network rollout process, including excavation and reinstatement.

The project forms part of CityFibre’s up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme, which will bring full fibre network infrastructure – the best technology available - within reach of up to 8 million homes and businesses across the UK.

In Inverness, the rollout is largely complete in the Balloch, Culloden, Smithton, Drakies, Crown, Inshes areas, while work in Kinmylies, Merkinch, Ballifeary and Lochardil is now underway. The network is expected to be largely completed by the end of this year.

Full fibre networks use 100 per cent fibre optic cables to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection. This gives users consistently faster speeds for upload and download (up to 1000 Mbps), near limitless bandwidth and dependable connectivity.

Allan McEwan, Inverness city manager at CityFibre, said: “Throughout our rollout in Inverness, we have worked closely with Highland Council to ensure as little disruption as possible to the community, and we were really pleased to be able to show Cllr Davidson the progress we have made as we work to future-proof the city.

“Our full fibre network will enable unbeatable homeworking, home learning and digital entertainment experiences and we look forward to giving residents more of a choice when it comes to broadband packages they can rely on through our open-access network. As the world moves increasingly online, full fibre will make Inverness one of the best-connected communities in the world.”

Cllr Davidson described the build progress across the city as very encouraging and added: "It’s great to see that households and businesses across Inverness are already seeing enormous benefits. Becoming one of the best-connected cities in the UK with CityFibre’s state-of-the-art infrastructure is vital to the city’s future. Full fibre connectivity will support our economic, social and smart city ambitions.”

Construction is being delivered by GCU UK Limited on behalf of CityFibre. The team is using a range of construction methods, while working in close partnership with the Highland Council and local communities, to deliver a fast rollout, including minimising potential disruption.

Each area usually takes a few weeks to complete; however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days and CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.

As work is completed in each neighbourhood, internet service providers (ISPs) will offer residents and businesses competitive broadband packages. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with launch partner Vodafone, and TalkTalk, to supply full fibre infrastructure for customers.

Currently in Inverness, services are available from local provider Brawband, as well as TalkTalk, with an increasing range of broadband providers expected to join the network soon. Residents can find out more about the build, pre-register their interest and find out when new ISPs join at www.cityfibre.com/sneckie.

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