Sunderland latest UK city to benefit from full-fibre investment

The open-access full fibre infrastructure is forecast to boost business productivity and innovation as the CityFibre deployment aims to reach “nearly every home and business” in the UK city.

Sunderland is to benefit from full-fibre connectivity following an investment of £62m by CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform.

The open-access full-fibre infrastructure is forecast to boost business productivity and innovation as the roll-out aims to reach “nearly every home and business in Sunderland” and provide a platform to further expand the UK city’s smart city applications.

Gigabit City investment programme

Delivery of the project, due to commence mid-year, forms part of CityFibre’s £4bn Gigabit City investment programme targeting full-fibre rollout to up to eight million premises across the UK by 2025.

Detailed planning is underway as the operator seeks to design a network capable of serving Sunderland’s current and future demands. Upon completion, the network will provide a platform for a new generation of smart city applications and the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

“We are a city on an exciting journey. The next chapter in our drive to continuously improve quality of life and business prospects will be underpinned by this incredible investment by CityFibre,” said councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council.

“Full-fibre broadband will help households across Sunderland to access the internet at a rapid speed they haven’t experienced before, better enabling the integration of smart home technology to assist working from home, as well as a raft of business gains.”

He continued: “This investment represents significant opportunities to drive efficiencies and innovation to help Sunderland-based businesses to gain a real competitive edge.

CityFibre will be engaging with Sunderland City Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Ward Councillors will be briefed on plans for the local community and residents are being kept informed by mailings ahead of works commencing in their streets.

The network is not yet live but once activated, services will be available from an increasing range of internet service providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services, CityFibre reports.

“The announcement of this huge investment from our valued partners at CityFibre will continue our citywide digital transformation, advancing opportunities for our residents, businesses, educators and healthcare providers through a truly transformative full fibre network,” added Patrick Melia, chief executive at Sunderland City Council.

“The last 12 months have seen real progress across our smart city, culminating in Sunderland being crowned Smart City of the Year 2020 in the Digital Leaders 100 List.

“Accolades such as this are getting Sunderland noticed as a serious player globally as a digital leader with opportunities for investment, whilst firmly positioning our fantastic city as a healthy, happy place to live, work and play.”