Coventry to be the largest Gigabit city in the UK

Coventry is set to be transformed into the largest ‘Gigabit City’ in the UK as part of a major new agreement signed today – giving businesses access to some of the fastest communications in the world.

CityFibre – a builder of ultra-fast pure fibre infrastructure in the UK – has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Coventry City Council to acquire, upgrade and extendits fibre network and make it available to city-based businesses.

Businesses connecting to this new‘Coventry CORE’ network will have access to next-generation broadband capable of gigabit speeds (1000 Megabits per second), 100 times faster than the UK average and on a par with the world’s fastest cities such as Hong Kong and Stockholm.

Coventry City Council installed a fibre network spanning 140km six years ago to service more than 300 of its key sites across the city including council buildings, schools and community centres properties. These sites will continue to receive long-term right of service as part of the contract with CityFibre.

The deal, announced at an event attended by business leaders and local firms, is expected to benefit the city throughsignificant economic growth and an influx of new businesses.

Coventry firms connected to the Coventry CORE will benefit from an increase in productivity and efficiency and significant cost savings. The annual savings to businesses in Stockholm, for example, are estimated to be €8.5m*.

Tim Luft, CEO at The Serious Games Institute based at Innovation Village in Coventry, said: “As a technology company, connectivity and quality of service is central to our success and this is becoming increasingly true of many businesses in a data-hungry digital world.

“We spend a lot of time transferring enormous files and this network will unlock previously inaccessible levels of connectivity, speed and resilience. We’re proud to be based and operate out of Coventry and the establishment of the Coventry CORE only adds to that.”

The network expansion will be demand-led and CityFibre has today launched a campaign called ‘Gig Up Coventry’ encouraging businesses to register their interest on the Coventry CORE website

Work on upgrading the Coventry CORE will begin immediately and businesses, from SMEs to large companies and business parks to developers, are now being encouraged to pre-register their interest in using the service which is expected to go live this summer.

Initial registration is no obligation to take the service but will allow CityFibre to plan network upgrades and routing to meet the demand.

Speaking about the partnership Cllr Damian Gannon, Cabinet Member, Strategic Finance and Resources, at Coventry City Council, said: “Ultrafast gigabit speed connectivity is vital for Coventry businesses to enable them to compete and succeed not just on the national but also on the international stage.

“As a Gigabit City, Coventry can now set itself alongside the most digitally advanced locations around the world and we look forward to the numerous social and economic advantages that such a status will bring; driving economic investment and catalysing business start-ups.”

CityFibre is currently working to transform York and Peterborough into Gigabit Cities and Coventry will now be the largest city in the UK with an ultra-fast pure fibrenetwork.

Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, said: “The rise of the Gigabit City represents a step-change in the evolution of digital connectivity, as significant as the shift from dial-up to broadband. As a Gigabit City, Coventry will position itself at the heart of the UK economy as the technological revolution continues to gather pace. Coventry’s businesses will have a huge digital head start over the competition, at home and abroad.

”We are now encouraging businesses to pre-register their interest – nothing more – and that will enable us to start mapping out the network in a way which will deliver most business advantage.”