Scotland business

Edinburgh and Stirling next for ultrafast broadband

Cables Image copyright Thinkstock

Edinburgh and Stirling are to be next cities for installation of ultrafast broadband cabling into customers' homes and businesses.

CityFibre announced the Scottish cities will follow Aberdeen in getting one gigabit per second potential speeds, along with Coventry and Huddersfield.

Those already set for the roll-out - in a tie-up with Vodafone - are Aberdeen, Peterborough and Milton Keynes.

CityFibre said it aimed to make digital inadequacy "a thing of the past".

The move means that the existing networks across Edinburgh and Stirling, linking up public offices, schools and hospitals, will now have additional cabling into homes.

The network in Edinburgh currently has 150km of cabling, in the city centre and Leith and extending to Portobello, Lasswade and Corstorphine.

Stirling has 24km laid, with links as far as Bannockburn and Stirling Agricultural Centre.

'Game-changing infrastructure'

The cost of the investment in the two cities is estimated by CityFibre at £110m.

Vodafone has a deal to market the ultra-fast broadband exclusively, until it reaches a fifth of the potential market.

The latest round of investment came as the cabling company announced an agreed takeover by a consortium of investors, led by Goldman Sachs fund, valuing CityFibre at nearly double its preceding share price, at a total £538m.

Greg Mesch, chief executive at CityFibre, said: "Edinburgh and Stirling will be among the first cities in the UK to benefit from this game-changing infrastructure programme, which will have a transformative impact on homes and businesses alike.

"We're moving closer to our vision of a Gigabit Britain, where digital inadequacy is a thing of the past and full fibre connectivity is the norm. For residents of Edinburgh and Stirling, the future is now."

Councillor Kate Campbell, Edinburgh's housing and economy Convener, said: "Edinburgh's already a well-connected city, but this investment will take it to the next level.

"Particularly welcome is that households will see a direct benefit for the first time. The additional capability this has already brought to schools, libraries and other community facilities has made a real difference for everyone who uses them.

"We will work closely with CityFibre to ensure the roll-out is as smooth as possible and residents are kept fully up-to-date with their plans."

Stirling Council leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, added: "Fast and reliable access to the internet is a cornerstone of everyday life for business and personal use and the roll out of these plans will help equip Stirling for today and the future.

"This project underpins Stirling's ambition to have world class connectivity and is just one of the many ways Stirling Council is transforming the area to make sure it is a place where everyone can thrive."

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