New £46m digital rollout for Harrogate to create 'smart district' and boost broadband for thousands of people
Harrogate's digital transformation into a 'smart district’ through improved connectivity is taking a major step forward thanks to a £46million project.
Almost every single home and business in Harrogate, Knaresborough and Ripon will gain access to next-generation broadband next year as CityFibre gets on with completing the integration of FibreNation projects, following its acquisition in March.
The £46m investment in a better digital future is part of CityFibre’s plans to replace the nation’s legacy networks with gigabit-capable full fibre connectivity.
The state-of-the-art infrastructure is expected to boost business productivity and innovation, while giving residents access to the UK’s fastest broadband services.
Construction of the network formally began in Harrogate in January and upon completion, it will be in reach of nearly every home and business in the town, serving current and future demands.
It will also provide a platform for a new generation of “smart city” applications and underpin the roll-out of 5G mobile services.
Work will progress in Knaresborough and Ripon in 2021.
Hailing the importance of the project, Coun Graham Swift, Harrogate Borough Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for economic growth, said: “This investment in full fibre across the Harrogate district will provide our residents and businesses with access to ultrafast broadband service that is fit for the future.
“It also supports our economic growth strategy that aims to create a ‘smart district’ through improved connectivity, which in turn supports businesses growth and investment across the district.”
The project was formerly led by FibreNation and will now fall under CityFibre’s up to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme that aims to reach up to eight million premises.
CityFibre will continue to work closely with Harrogate Borough Council and local communities to ensure a fast and successful roll-out.
Residents are being kept informed by door-to-door teams and 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.
Kim Johnston, as City Manager at CityFibre, will spearhead delivery of the project.
As commercial lead for CityFibre in the region, Kim will be the main contact for all the borough’s stakeholders and a key advocate of the wide-ranging benefits that a full fibre network will bring.
Kim said: “The pandemic has forced us all to rely on digital connectivity like never before. As we move forward, full Fibre will be instrumental in growing and protecting local economies in the Harrogate Borough and make it an even better place to live and work now and in the future.
“We want to work with as many organisations as possible to raise awareness of our plans for the district and ensure everyone understands the long-term importance of reliable, ultrafast speed and limitless capacity broadband.”
Make Happen Group is the build partner helping to deliver the new full fibre network and will be using modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly.
The company is following social distancing protocol to ensure the build team’s safety, as well as that of the general public.
Any residents interested in full fibre broadband, should pre-register their interest with CityFibre to receive information when services are available or check their postcode to see if services are currently available.
CityFibre is the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform.
With existing networks in more than 60 towns and cities, CityFibre provides wholesale connectivity to multiple business and consumer service providers, local authorities and mobile operators.
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