CityFibre to build pure fibre infrastructure for Southend

05 April 2016

The new network will enable the council to deliver cost-effective and efficient digital public sector services.

The new network will enable the council to deliver cost-effective and efficient digital public sector services.

CityFibre has been selected by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council to supply a 50km future-proof dark fibre network connecting 120 key public sector sites throughout the town. 

The company says the deal, worth £3.24 million over ten years, will provide scalable, ultra-fast connectivity to underpin the council’s ambitious digital strategy and make Southend its latest “Gigabit City”.

The network will provide the council with a dark fibre platform from which it can upgrade the existing connectivity provided to sites including schools, colleges and council offices. 

CityFibre says many of these key sites are currently served by legacy BT Openreach connections which are “frequently delivered over outdated copper wires”. It says these sites will be migrated to the new network as it is built, providing them with ultra-fast, pure fibre services.

CityFibre adds that Southend will experience the benefits enjoyed by its other Gigabit City projects. It claims the new infrastructure will enable the council to deliver cost-effective and efficient digital public sector services, whilst catalysing business growth and inward investment. 

In addition, mobile masts can be connected to the network to support upgrades to 4G and 5G services, and ultimately the network can provide a backbone for FTTH deployment.

As with all CityFibre’s Gigabit City projects, the network will be made available on a wholesale-basis to service providers. These will then be able to offer the majority of Southend’s 6,000 businesses affordable access to gigabit speed services. 

Councillor Ian Gilbert, executive member for community and organisational development, believes the network has the potential to provide a “massive boost” to jobs and investment in the town.

He adds: “The solution will not only provide a stepped improvement in connectivity for council premises and schools, but also offer solutions for businesses and residential premises. The partnership reflects the council’s commitment to sustainable economic growth and improved opportunity for all.”

Infrastructure partnership with Updata

In separate news, CityFibre has signed a national framework agreement with Updata Infrastructure which specialises in the delivery of public sector connectivity and services. 

Updata is part of Capita IT Enterprise Services. The deal sets out commercial terms under which it can access CityFibre’s existing national network infrastructure to deliver scalable and competitively priced services to the public and private sectors.

With 36 major network footprints across the country, and a financed plan to reach a total of 50 cities by 2020, CityFibre reckons its national reach provides Updata with a “flexible, powerful and future-proof” alternative to incumbent networks. 

The company adds that its pure fibre networks will be used as a platform for Updata’s growing ranks of public sector and enterprise customers, as well as providing the company with an option to migrate existing customers where commercially preferable or technically essential.

CityFibre now UK’s second biggest wholesale infrastructure provider