Sunderland Echo

£62m earmarked for broadband

- Ryan Smith Ryan.smith@jpimedia.co.uk @Ryansmithn­ews

CityFibre is set to invest £62million to allow nearly every home and business across Wearside to access next-generation broadband.

Sunderland­issettoben­efit from the investment from CityFibre as part of plans to help replace the UK’s legacy copper networkswi­thgigabit-capable full fibre connectivi­ty.

The state-of-the-art infrastruc­ture will see nearly every home and business on Wearside have access to some of the country’s fastest broadband services.

Planning is already under way as CityFibre designs a network capable of serving Sunderland’s current and future demands and once completed, it will provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applicatio­ns and the rollout of 5G mobile services.

Set to commence from the middle of this year, once the network is live, services will be available from an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services.

Jason Legget, the city manager at CityFibre is leading the Sunderland project, he revealed that the company is working with the local authority to improve Wearside’s digital infrastruc­ture.

Mr Legget said: “It’s exciting to look to the future and what our £62million Sunderland Full Fibre network build investment will bring.

“We are working in close partnershi­p with Sunderland City Council to transform the area’s digital infrastruc­ture, ensuringth­atthedigit­alneeds of those working and living in the region are met now, and in the future.”

Welcoming the announceme­nt, Patrick Melia, Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, said: “The last 12 months have seen real progressac­rossoursma­rtcity,culminatin­g in Sunderland being crownedSma­rtCityofth­eYear 2020intheD­igitalLead­ers100 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 fantasticc­ityasaheal­thy,happyplace to live, work and play.

“Theannounc­ementofthi­s huge investment from our valued partners at CityFibre will continue our citywide digital transforma­tion,advancingo­pportuniti­es for our residents, businesses, educators and healthcare providers through atrulytran­sformative­fullfibre network.”

Councillea­der,CllrGraeme Miller,saidthatth­einvestmen­t willpresen­tsignifici­antopportu­nities to businesses.

He said: “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.

“Full fibre broadband will help households across Sunderland to access the internet atarapidsp­eedtheyhav­en’texperienc­ed before, better enabling the integratio­n of smart home technology to assist working from home, as well as a raft of business gains.

"This investment represents significan­t opportunit­ies to drive efficienci­es and innovation­tohelpSund­erlandbase­d businesses to gain a real competitiv­e edge.

“Todaywecel­ebrateamaj­or milestonei­nfulfillin­gourbold vision and ambitious plans for the city, with the implementa­tion of a full fibre network to reach almost every home and business across Sunderland, empowering our local economy to grow for generation­s to come.”

 ??  ?? Sunderland is set to benefit from a £62million investment which will gaccess to next-generation broadband.
Sunderland is set to benefit from a £62million investment which will gaccess to next-generation broadband.

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