Laura
By Laura Bolden

Senior Staff Writer

24 July 2019

| | 2 min read

Digital

UK Smart City of the Year set to get smarter

Newcastle has been named as one of the fourteen cities to be included in the second phase of City Fibres full fibre roll outs.

The full fibre roll out will build on the existing superfast broadband cover.
The full fibre roll out will build on the existing superfast broadband cover.

Building on Newcastle’s position as a recognised centre for tech and digital innovation, the city will become a ‘Gigabit City’ as it receives a share of the £500 million investment announced by City Fibre.

The investment will build on the existing 98% superfast broadband coverage in the city by introducing game-changing gigabit connectivity speeds across Newcastle.

It will also increase Newcastle’s full fibre deployment above the current national average of 7% and ensure we deliver full fibre connectivity ahead of the current UK target of 2033.

The news is the latest in a series of exciting connectivity announcements in the region, including the NorthSea connect project, a high capacity fibre cable to Denmark that puts Newcastle on the international data superhighway.

The region is also home to Stellium, the UK’s largest purpose-built data centre that delivers a 40k metro area fibre network linking Newcastle to national and international networks.

Cllr Ged Bell, cabinet member for employment and investment, said: “As smart city of the year, Newcastle has ambitions to enable and support further digital development across the city.

“This level of investment from City Fibre will bring huge advantages to our residents, businesses and future business as full fibre helps to build a digital infrastructure designed for innovation and creativity.

“We continue to be a city that harnesses the power of technology and this ultrafast broadband will move us further into the future.”

Jennifer Hartley, Director, Invest Newcastle said: “Digital infrastructure plays a vital role in facilitating growth and innovation.

“It is key driver for economic development and our smart city credentials have really strengthened our international proposition as a location for business.  This new investment will really help drive digital skills, business growth and start-up activity.

“We are very excited about this full fibre network that will help transform our digital landscape, taking our city and our people even further forward into the future.”

The investment is the second phase of a £2.5 billion investment programme from City Fibre to bring a full fibre infrastructure to five million homes in the UK.

Newcastle was named Smart City of the Year last month at the Digital Leaders awards for its innovative approach in using technology to help transform services and improve the lives of residents.