Leeds, Bradford, and London, 25 April, 2016 – CityFibre today announced that Leeds and Bradford have become the UK’s newest Gigabit Cities. With nearly 200km of pure fibre optic infrastructure now available for use by businesses and the public sector, Leeds and Bradford are now amongst the best digitally connected cities in the world, future-proofing themselves for the digital age.
A new generation of affordable, gigabit speed internet services are now available from CityFibre’s launch partners ExaNetworks and Diva Telecom. Until now, businesses based in the centres of Leeds and Bradford were poorly served in terms of internet connectivity, with a shortage of ‘fibre to the cabinet’ services limiting their digital capabilities. The new networks alleviate these concerns, offering speeds up to 100 times faster than the UK national average and unlocking a host of productivity benefits to organisations increasingly reliant on digital systems and communications.
CityFibre’s pure fibre network will help support the drive for a ‘Northern Powerhouse’ by providing the infrastructure to enable the next-generation of digitally based businesses to flourish across the region. The North already contributes about £10bn a year in digital GVA to the UK economy. Pure fibre infrastructure will only help to accelerate this as businesses become more productive and the region becomes increasingly attractive as a location to build and grow a business. Alongside other Gigabit City projects such as York and Huddersfield, CityFibre has extensive fibre networks across the region that it will be launching in the coming months.
Commenting on the announcement Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre said: “As thirst for greater internet speeds continues to grow in all sectors, it’s fantastic to be able to offer cities the world-class digital infrastructure they need to meet the demand. As Gigabit Cities, Leeds and Bradford will be on the digital front foot, able to compete and succeed in a digital world.
“We have already invested over £70m in next generation digital infrastructure across the North, and now businesses in Leeds and Bradford will be able to capitalise on this to build better-connected, more innovative, companies.”
David Cawthray, Assistant Director of Information Services at the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, commented: “This announcement is great news for Bradford. Reliable, ultrafast gigabit speed connectivity is crucial for businesses across the city to compete on the national and international stage. The CityFibre network will support the growth of Bradford’s thriving entrepreneurial business community as well as other bandwidth hungry organisations allowing them to transform the way they operate.
“As a Gigabit City, Bradford will be able to set itself alongside the most digitally advanced locations in Europe, allowing the council to further our digital agenda quicker than ever before. We are delighted to see CityFibre continue its investment in Yorkshire.”
Businesses can find out more and register their interest at cityfibre.com/yorkshire
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Cordelia Meacher: +44 7961 311080
CityFibre is the national builder of Gigabit Cities, as the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale fibre network infrastructure. It has major metro duct and fibre footprints in 37 cities across the UK and a national long distance network that connects these cities to major data-centres across the UK and to key peering points in London.
The company has an extensive customer base spanning service integrators, enterprise and consumer service providers and mobile operators. Providing a portfolio of active and dark fibre services, CityFibre’s networks address 26,000 public sites, 7,400 mobile masts, 260,000 businesses and 3.7 million homes.
CityFibre is based in London, United Kingdom, and its shares trade on the AIM Market of the London Stock Exchange (AIM: CITY). Further information on the company can be found at www.cityfibre.com
About Exa Networks
Exa Networks was founded in 2003 as a dedicated Internet Service Provider to the education and business sectors. They now provide award-winning solutions to thousands of organisations across the UK. Based in Bradford, West Yorkshire, its national network infrastructure is run and managed to ensure end-to-end service quality, and guarantee that every internet connection they provide is the best that it can be. www.exa.net.uk
About Diva Telecoms
Established in 2006, Leeds-based Diva Telecom provides bespoke telecoms solutions to a growing client base including blue chip and businesses such as fashion mail order brand Pure Collection, train operator Virgin train East Coast, Danish transportation and energy operators Maersk and Enact, a leading provider of conveyancing services. www.divatelecom.co.uk
Notes to editors
The news comes just weeks after CityFibre announced two commercial agreements with local internet service providers Exa Networks and Diva Telecom to deliver ultra-fast internet services to 350 schools and businesses over its infrastructure across both cities. Both networks were purchased as part of CityFibre’s £90 million acquisition of KCOM’s national fibre networks (excluding Hull and East Yorkshire).
Bradford-based Exa Networks, who specialise in delivering connectivity to the education and business sectors, have already committed 250 new connections. Leeds-based Diva Telecoms – a renowned telecoms provider for businesses with an extensive customer base in Leeds – has made an initial commitment of 100 connections.
· The North of England supports 283,515 digital tech economy jobs
· Leeds is home to 23,734 digital technology jobs
· Leeds generates £671 million in Digital GVA
Source: Tech Nation Report 2016
“Using CityFibre’s pure fibre infrastructure will enable us to offer our customers best-in-class connectivity services. As a UK leader in providing internet services to the education sector, we understand the crucial importance of ultra-fast connectivity to schools in the modern age and we anticipate huge demand for our services across CityFibre’s national fibre footprint.”
-- Mark Cowgill, Co-Founder, Exa Networks
“Diva has long believed in doing things not only differently but better and look forward to a new suite of pure fibre services cementing our reputation as innovators and market leaders. We look forward to working closely with CityFibre to make the most of this huge opportunity.”
-- Erica Lewis, Managing Director, Diva Telecom
“I’m delighted that Chamber members are involved in this hugely exciting new technology for Leeds and Bradford. This kind of speed and connectivity is essential for businesses to compete and will mean a step-change in the operation and delivery of services both now and in the future. It’s great to see more of our region covered with York already becoming a Gigabit City last year.”
-- Andy Caton, Bradford Chamber President