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£120m cash injection in Gigabit Midlands Internet to create £1bn+ in local economic benefit

August 21, 2020
Dom Taylor
Gigabit Ultra Reliable Full Fibre Broadband

An investment of more than £120m in faster internet speeds for the Midlands is set to create an economic multiplier effect of more than £1bn, research suggests. 

Increases in business productivity, household consumption and healthcare are among some of the benefits listed as a direct result of the roll out of a new gigabit internet fibre network in Cambridge, Leicester and Nottingham, a study from economic researcher Regeneris predicts. 

“A lot of people haven’t yet realised the massive transformational impact real gigabit internet will have on cities and businesses,” said Dan llett, CEO of Gigabit Networks – the appointed CityFibre City Champion for Leicester, Cambridge and Nottingham. 

“This couldn’t have come at a better time when many businesses have had to move online with new technologies. With the gigabit speeds available on a pure fibre network  – not the megabits available on partial fibre almost everyone else is offering – businesses in the Midlands will be far more productive and globally connected than ever.”

The network, which is being built by Goldman Sachs-backed CityFibre, is part of a £4bn UK-wide investment in one the fastest internet networks ever built in the UK. CityFibre’s investment in the gigabit-speed, pure-fibre roll out in Leicester is over £80m, in Cambridge more than £20m and Nottingham more than £20m according to research conducted by Regeneris. 

“Our investment in the Midlands is a crucial step to driving the UK to be more competitive through digital transformation,” said a CityFibre representative. “The economic benefits from greater speeds mean more global opportunities for people and businesses. We are delighted that Gigabit Networks is driving this in the Midlands as a CityFibre City Champion.”

The Regeneris study shows that:

  • Leicester is projected to benefit from £640m in its local economy with the benefits of pure-fibre internet speeds, with more than £400m generated in 5G innovation, £79m in private household benefits, £31m for business start ups and £18m benefitting healthcare. 
  • Cambridge’s economy is set for an economic boost of £470m from the positive impact of ultrafast pure-fibre internet, research predicts. This includes £117m benefiting private households, £117m in Web 4.0 & IoT and £33m benefiting innovation in business. 
  • Nottingham can also expect a benefit of £630 million, with over £480m in 5G innovation, £88m in Smart city infrastructure and £73m in private household benefits.

Partial-fibre networks (or FTTC, Fibre to the Cabinet) are extremely common in the UK using fibre from the exchange to street cabinets, but then using copper wires from street cabinets to properties. Pure-fibre (or FTTP, Fibre to the Premises) uses solely fibre from the exchange directly to the premises. This allows CityFibre and Gigabit Networks to provide superfast connection speeds to these areas, eliminating the need for the use of partial-fibre networks and overcoming the limitations of relying on outdated and slow copper wire connections.

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