Raising Newcastle’s ambitions with full fibre

March 31, 2020

By Jason Legget, CityFibre’s city manager for Newcastle

The future success of Newcastle’s economy relies on modern digital infrastructure. Like traditional infrastructure – well-built roads, beautiful buildings and our world-famous bridges – investment in digital connectivity, specifically full fibre networks, will drive the attractiveness, competitiveness and productivity of the city in years to come.

A modern city-wide digital infrastructure, with full fibre at its core, creates thousands of opportunities to drive economic growth and investment across our key industries and sectors. This will make the area attractive to new talent and support innovative start-ups and scale-up activity, allowing Newcastle to stand out and step-up in the globally competitive market.

Recent Regeneris research shows that direct investment in gigabit connectivity across the city will reap significant reward. Full fibre will help generate £22 million in business productivity, £24 million in innovation benefits and £22 million from new business start-ups alone.

This digital infrastructure won’t only stimulate economic growth and investment but will, fundamentally, help to improve the way we live, work and play. It will enable us to truly personalise the city, making it more user-friendly through the transformation of public service delivery, even shaping the underlying infrastructure of Newcastle itself through widespread deployment of smart city technologies.

Such developments make the city easier to navigate, safer to walk around, healthier to live
in and far more efficient to manage, ultimately making it an even more enjoyable place in which to work, live and visit.

To help realise a ‘city of the future’ vision, CityFibre is delivering a state-of-the-art full fibre network that will, later this year, begin to connect communities at the heart of our city, including Kenton and Blakelaw, along with exciting new build development sites, including the innovative he future success of Newcastle’s economy relies on modern digital infrastructure.

Like traditional infrastructure – well-built roads, beautiful buildings
Helix development. They will each have access to unprecedented speeds of up to a gigabit per second (1000mbps).

It’s not just speed and contention that will make the difference; ubiquitous connectivity is the key to success. Ubiquitous access across the city must be a single focus, not just for areas of best return. As a result, CityFibre is building its network contiguously, expanding out from our technology sites or fibre exchange (FEX) locations, connecting premises up to the network as we pass.

This project will future-proof Newcastle for the next 50 years, supporting generations of innovators, entrepreneurs, community leaders, learners and investors. Newcastle, one of 62 Gigabit Cities CityFibre currently plans to invest in, is already accelerating faster than almost anywhere in the UK outside of London, so only time will tell about the impact full fibre will have on the city overall.

I am extremely proud to say Newcastle’s status as a Gigabit City is progressing well and it’s exciting to think that nearly every home, business, retailer, school and public building will be able to reap the benefits of gigabit speeds. This presents a significant opportunity for the area, and indeed investors, as we look to build on our digital abilities and innovate for the good of Newcastle and beyond.


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