The Government’s pledge to get fibre done, as outlined by the Prime Minister, will have been music to the ears of communities that have struggled to leave the digital age’s starting blocks. It is fair to say that the benefits of increased full fibre availability go far beyond providing just faster, more reliable internet, especially when we consider how important connectivity has proved throughout the COVID-19 crisis.
So, with plans for a nationwide investment in digital infrastructure now gathering pace at the highest levels of government, there is cause to look optimistically towards the opportunity ahead. Telecoms players and network providers, like CityFibre, are mobilising, but they need the civils community’s support. The reward? Secure, long term, high-value projects at local, regional and nationwide levels.
In telecoms circles, we’ve been talking about the transformative potential of full fibre connectivity for close to a decade. Now, with the backing of the Government, it’s widely accepted that these full fibre networks, which take fibre, not copper, all the way to the premises, are the only technology capable of delivering the high speed, high capacity, resilient connectivity required to support successful service-based economies today and into the future.
This is where the local construction industry comes in and where new opportunities lie, waiting to be seized by firms in Ipswich. Extending full fibre network coverage to the remaining 90 per cent of the country will be a huge feat for civil engineering. It will require, at-scale, simultaneous deployment in hundreds of locations across the country, including Ipswich, if the 100% full fibre coverage target is to be reached.
For civils providers in Suffolk and Norfolk and the East in general, this presents a massive and sustained opportunity for new contracts, job creation and regional expansion. Even the size of the prize itself is impressive – up to £30 billion to achieve total national coverage.
At CityFibre, we have already committed over £1 billion in the design, mobilisation and build of town and city-wide networks in 26 cities, which will address 2 million homes and businesses. This is just the first part of our larger £4 billion Gigabit City investment programme to reach up to 8 million homes and businesses, which we estimate will create around 7,000 construction jobs.
With the construction industry experiencing its second fastest activity drop since April 2009, organisations that are nimble and agile enough to work with network builders have the opportunity to create real value and grow their businesses with guaranteed work for the next decade. Those up to the task will be called upon to manage and build our networks, bringing full fibre to every front door efficiently and with the requisite care and quality – ultimately ensuring residents and businesses, and the town or city, can enjoy next generation internet access as soon, and as seamlessly, as possible.
We are currently building gigabit networks in Ipswich, Lowestoft and Bury St Edmunds and have plans to add more locations in the East. So, for those that are ready and willing, the door is open to work with us directly or as part of our supply chain as we build Gigabit Britain.
Whether you are an individual or a company you can learn more about the opportunities available at www.cityfibre.com/careers