October 2, 2020
We may be a nation suffering from Zoom fatigue, but if the last few months have shown us anything, it is just how important digital connectivity is.
Throughout lockdown, internet access enabled many of us to keep working. However, slow and unreliable internet has made using apps like Skype and Zoom a frustrating experience.
It’s something felt across the whole of the UK, where just 15 per cent of premises have access to full fibre internet – considered the gold standard.
As the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, CityFibre is working on a solution – by building game-changing networks in areas including Newcastle.
When you hear fibre being mentioned by providers, they often actually mean connections that are only part fibre. These usually include some copper wiring for the final stretch to your home, a major factor in lagging and dropped connections.
Full fibre is different, using fibre connections for the entire length of the journey. That allows for gigabit-capable ‘lightning speed’ services and superior reliability.
With the UK’s average broadband speed only 22.37Mbps compared to 55.18Mbps in Sweden, Europe’s top ranked country, there’s work to be done.
When it comes to business, many companies are struggling with data-heavy tasks and significant server strain, meaning employees are tapping their fingers while waiting for a file to download.
Full fibre eliminates that problem.
Beyond increased productivity, full fibre connectivity gives employees the ability to work from home without worrying about their connection, providing vital flexibility and reassurance.
You may have also heard about Smart Cities and with full fibre, Newcastle can implement its Smart City vision.
There are plenty of examples across the globe, from digital tech making parking problems a thing of the past in South Korea’s biggest city, to smart waste management trucks on New York’s roads – and the implementation here will be driven by the specific needs of Newcastle.
One thing we do know is that it’ll be powered by full fibre.
There’ll be a real economic boost over the next 15 years too, according to research we commissioned with Regeneris.
Access to full fibre could unlock £22 million in business productivity and innovation, a further £22 million could be driven from start-ups and Smart City initiatives could add as much as £77 million.
The future isn’t as far away as you may think. Together with our contractors, IQA Elecnor, we’ve been building across Newcastle since 2019 and soon many residents and businesses will be making use of their full fibre connection to great effect.
In a period of uncertainty, one thing we know for sure is that connection has never been more valuable – and with full fibre, we can ensure that Newcastle has the connectivity it needs to emerge from this challenging period in a stronger position than ever before.