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Fibre network complete and business prepares to reap the economic benefit

CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, has announced it has completed the primary-build of its full fibre network Milton Keynes. 

The new network now reaches approximately 90,000 homes, about 90% of addressable residential properties, as well as most businesses, and key public sector and community sites in the city. 

Construction began on the £43 million project in March 2018 and CityFibre has since laid almost 1,000 kilometres of dense full fibre infrastructure across nearly every street in Milton Keynes. With the primary build now completed, CityFibre will explore opportunities to densify and infill the last remaining areas. 

The new network marks CityFibre’s first completed project in England.

It currently serves the city’s university hospital where it is used to support robotic surgery, the digital transformation of back-office functions, and providing patients with a rock-solid broadband connection. The network is also supporting the connectivity services of the headquarters and campus of The Open University, Stadium MK and the MK YMCA. 

Milton Keynes University Hospital is already seeing the benefit of full fibre connection

The network also underpins the MK:5G project, led by Milton Keynes Council, that trials and seeks to illustrate the near-term technological benefits of 5G including autonomous vehicles, drones, and robots. 

A forthcoming report by the consultancy Hatch, commissioned by CityFibre, will show that Milton Keynes stands to experience significant economic, social and environmental benefits from its new digital infrastructure platform including over £560 million in productivity gains and £123 million from a widened workforce over a 15-year period. 

Enabling 5G rollout alone could drive up to £1 billion in positive economic impact.

Greg Mesch, chief executive officer at CityFibre, said: “As we complete our rollout in Milton Keynes, we leave behind a city fully equipped for the data age. With the UK’s finest digital infrastructure under its streets, its citizens, businesses, and public institutions are only just beginning to tap into the huge benefits that are to come.

“Completed city-wide networks are now rolling off our production line, proof of the impact of digital infrastructure competition in the UK. Each new network is delivering faster speeds, more reliable services and better value to our partners and to consumers.”

Ben Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North said: “Milton Keynes finishing its journey to become a Gigabit City is a huge moment and a fantastic achievement for all involved. With CityFibre’s project now complete, households, businesses and public sector sites across MK will be able to benefit from the best possible internet connections.

“The legacy left by this project is just beginning. The world class digital infrastructure now in place will keep Milton Keynes at the cutting edge of technological change and underpin our growth and success for generations to come.”

Milton Keynes MPs Ben Everitt right and Iain Stewart

Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South, added: “It is excellent news that CityFibre has completed its rollout of the Fibre-to-the-Premises programme, reaching 90,000 premises across Milton Keynes.

“Having access to fast and reliable broadband in our home, work and community is increasingly important as we move forward and I am grateful for CityFibre’s role in making this possible.”

Cllr Pete Marland pictured right, leader of Milton Keynes Council, said: “Milton Keynes is a pioneering and constantly-evolving city that needs to remain at the forefront of technological development to remain an attractive place to live, work and do business. 

“We welcome CityFibre’s completed rollout which provides countless benefits for our residents and businesses; people will be able to learn and work anywhere, and it will completely transform the way the council delivers its services. Milton Keynes looks forward to embracing the future of a full fibre network.”

CityFibre is currently engaged in a £4 billion investment programme to roll-out dense full fibre infrastructure to up to eight million homes by 2025. CityFibre is already the largest provider of full fibre in 26 cities and its rollout has now passed more than 1.5 million homes.

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