Sunderland businesses secure £62m fibre investment boost

02 February 2021

The city of Sunderland has secured an  investment of £62m as part of City Fibre’s plans to help replace the UK’s legacy copper networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity. This new state-of-the-art infrastructure is tipped to boost business productivity, while giving enterprises access to some of the nation’s fastest broadband services.

Once completed, the network will be in reach of nearly every business in the city, providing a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications and the roll-out of 5G mobile services.

Jason Legget, city manager at City Fibre, who will spearhead delivery of the Sunderland project, which is due to commence mid-2021, explained what the £62m 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, ensuring that the digital needs of those working and living in the region are met now and in the future,” he said.

City Fibre 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 and local businesses will be kept informed by mailings ahead of planned works. Once the network is activated, services will be available from an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services.

Patrick Melia, chief executive at Sunderland City Council, added that Sunderland is getting “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.

“The announcement of this huge investment from our valued partners at City Fibre will continue our citywide digital transformation, advancing opportunities for our residents, businesses, educators and healthcare providers through a truly transformative full fibre network,” he said.

Councillor Graeme Miller, leader of Sunderland City Council, added: “This investment represents significant opportunities to drive efficiencies and innovation to help Sunderland-based businesses to gain a real competitive edge.”

City Fibre recently started to invest £32m in order to rollout a new 1Gbps capable FTTP based broadband network to “nearly every business” in Barnsley.