March 21, 2023
Work starts on £122m plan for lightning fast internet in rural Cambs areas
Work is under way to bring faster internet connections to parts of Cambridgeshire (Image: Pixabay) Group 28 Sign up to our free email newsletter to receive the latest BREAKING news and daily roundups Invalid email Something went wrong, please try again later. Sign Up No thanks, close We use your sign-up to provide content in the ways you've consented to and improve our understanding of you. This means that we may include adverts from us and third parties based on our knowledge of you. We also may change the frequency you receive our emails from us in order to keep you up to date and give you the best relevant information possible. As always you can unsubscribe at any time. More info Group 28 Thank you for subscribing! We have more newsletters Show Me No thanks, close See our Privacy Notice Work has begun on a £122million plan to bring 'lightning-fast broadband' to rural homes and business in Cambridgeshire . Full fibre builder CityFibre has signed a contract to deliver connections to about 45,000 properties as part the Government’s £5billion Project Gigabit. The roll out will benefit villages and hamlets around Ely , Newmarket , Royston and Huntingdon , among other areas. The premises will receive gigabit-capable full fibre connections - capable of speeds more than 30 times faster than superfast broadband. The £69m contract, one of the largest to date, will unlock a further £53m commercial investment from CityFibre to expand their network. Detailed planning in Cambridgeshire has already begun and the first Project Gigabit connections are expected in early 2024. Read more: Roadworks across Cambridgeshire that could cause traffic delays this week Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: "Thanks to our record-breaking roll out Project Gigabit, rural homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire can be confident they won’t be left behind in the upgrade to top-of-the-range gigabit broadband. "This landmark deal with CityFibre will help deliver the Prime Minister’s priority to grow the economy by ensuring the county’s pioneering science and tech industries can unleash their full potential with lightning-quick connectivity, whether in the city or the countryside." As part of its private investment, CityFibre has committed an additional £300,000 package to create local jobs and provide training - including construction and engineering internships for disadvantaged groups such as armed forces leavers, people with disabilities and those affected by Covid. The package will also provide free connectivity to 50 local charities and social enterprises and help those who have trouble using digital technology - often due to the cost or a lack of skills - by increasing their access to digital skills training and equipment. CityFibre already has coverage in Cambridgeshire. It has so far committed more than £100m of investment in the county, completing roll-outs in Peterborough and March. The firm's CEO Greg Mesch said: "Having already rolled out full fibre to 2.5 million homes in towns and cities across the country, we know just how important it is that rural communities and internet service providers are freed of their dependency on creaking copper networks and finally able to enjoy the benefits of fast and reliable digital connectivity. "That’s why we are delighted that CityFibre has been selected by the government as a partner in its Project Gigabit Programme. We look forward to a long and effective partnership in this exciting programme which supports not only rural connectivity, but a healthy competitive market for the long term, benefiting consumers and business nationwide." Fibre cables; premises will receive gigabit-capable full fibre connections (Image: Pixabay) Cllr Lorna Dupré, chair of Cambridgeshire County Council’s environment and green investment committee, which oversees the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme, said: "Improved digital infrastructure is crucial for our county and given the significant economic and social benefits for Cambridgeshire I am delighted that we are among the first areas in the country to benefit from the Government’s Project Gigabit funding. "Access to fast, reliable internet connectivity should no longer be a luxury. It is a basic necessity for all our residents, local businesses and the delivery of public services This initiative will greatly enhance the region's digital infrastructure and support economic growth, education and innovation. "The £122m investment will support our ambition for our businesses to have the leading-edge digital connectivity needed to help them succeed and grow sustainably, and for our communities, particularly in rural and harder to reach areas, to be digitally connected so that residents can access education, jobs, health, social care and other public services." More than £160m worth of contracts already signed in locations right across England, including Cumbria, Teesdale, Northumberland, Dorset and Cornwall. More than 73 per cent of the UK can access gigabit-capable connections, up on three years ago when coverage stood at just six per cent, according to comparison website Thinkbroadband. READ MORE: All the Cambridgeshire criminals who have been jailed this week police called to 'reports of violence' on Cambs street Cambs teens guilty of attempted murders after 'vicious' play park knife attacks 'Successful bidder' found for Peterborough's Hereward Cross Shopping Centre Peterborough Regional Pool closed after potentially dangerous bacteria found Story Saved You can find this story in My Bookmarks. Or by navigating to the user icon in the top right. Follow CambridgeLive Facebook Twitter Comment More On Cambridgeshire Ely Royston Newmarket Huntingdon
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