Edinburgh's leading digital infrastructure

Published: 19 February 2018

Edinburgh is one of the UK’s largest ‘Gigabit Cities’ and is continuing to grow its digital infrastructure to meet demand. We spoke to James McClafferty, Head of Regional Development in Scotland at CityFibre…

Your business in brief?

CityFibre is the national builder of ‘Gigabit Cities’ and the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure. In practice this means we bring the benefits of unlimited bandwidth and gigabit speed connectivity to entire communities.

Edinburgh became the UK’s first capital Gigabit City project, seeing a private investment of around £15 million...to build 150km of city-wide network and transform Edinburgh into one of the best-connected cities on the planet.

James McClafferty, Head of Regional Development in Scotland, CityFibre

 

We have duct and fibre footprints in 42 cities throughout the UK, currently addressing 44,000 public sites, 7,300 mobile masts, 350,000 businesses and 4.3 million homes. We recently began a roll-out of ‘Fibre-to-the-Premises’ in a strategic partnership with Vodafone, bringing ultrafast gigabit-capable full fibre broadband to up to five million UK homes and businesses by 2025.

Our founders are Greg Mesch (Chief Executive) and Mark Collins (Co-founder and Director of Strategy and Public Affairs). We are headquartered are in London and our shares trade on the London Stock Exchange’s Alternative Investment Market

Edinburgh’s full-fibre network spans most of the city and is within reach of over 9,000 businesses.

Why is Edinburgh a 'Gigabit City' and what is this?

A Gigabit City is a metropolitan area equipped with full-fibre digital infrastructure that is ‘gigabit capable’ – meaning it can carry 1,000 megabits per second of data. In May 2015, Edinburgh became the UK’s first capital Gigabit City project, seeing a private investment from CityFibre of around £15 million.

It took just 18 months to build 150km of city-wide network and transform Edinburgh into one of the best-connected cities on the planet.

This new, independent full-fibre network also provides Edinburgh with the ideal platform for future fibre-to-the-home deployment and 5G mobile upgrades. 

What does this mean in practice for businesses and residents?

More than 300 council premises are connected to Edinburgh’s Gigabit City network – including over 130 schools – helping the City of Edinburgh Council provide residents with innovative and more efficient public services. It allows exploration of smart city initiatives like public Wi-Fi and CCTV systems which wouldn’t previously have been possible.

With more businesses moving their services and data to the cloud, using it for apps and hosting, as well as for talent attraction and retention, full-fibre connectivity is essential. The reliability, speed and bandwidth capabilities mean faster access to data, smoother running of applications, increased productivity, and ultimately cost reductions. Edinburgh’s full-fibre network spans most of the city and is within reach of over 9,000 businesses. 

CityFibre is the national builder of ‘Gigabit Cities’ and the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure.

What stage is the project at and what's the ultimate vision?

In the case of Edinburgh, we’ll continue to build full-fibre infrastructure as long as there’s demand for it. We take huge pride in helping to position the capital city and Scotland for a bright future in the digital age and look forward to helping businesses and consumers embrace it with full-fibre foundations.

CityFibre’s ultimate mission is to build Gigabit Britain, driving uptake of full-fibre connectivity on a much greater scale across the entire country. This is about more than just better broadband – it’s about future-proofing the digital infrastructure we’ve all come to rely on at work, at school, at home and in our communities. It’s also about stimulating the market, creating jobs and driving economic growth. 

 

If you would like to find out more about how we can help you and your business establish, relocate or expand within the city region, or would simply like more information about what Edinburgh has to offer, get in touch today.

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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City of Edinburgh Council

E: invest@edinburgh.gov.uk

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