Work to transform Northampton into one of the world’s best digitally connected communities has kicked off.
Northampton is celebrating a major milestone in its digital transformation as work begins to extend its full fibre network to reach almost every home and business in the town.
As part of £40m private investment from CityFibre, the UK’s leading alternative provider of wholesale full fibre network infrastructure, Northampton is among the first locations in the UK to benefit from the state-of-the-art full fibre roll-out.
For consumers wanting to access the network, Vodafone Gigafast Broadband services will be on offer to the town, meaning residents will soon be able to enjoy the fastest, most reliable gigabit-speed connectivity enabling them to experience seamless streaming, downloading and gaming, even at
This new investment will build on CityFibre’s existing business Metro network, which through partners, has been serving the town’s major business parks, with unbeatable connectivity since 2016.
In time, it is hoped that full fibre infrastructure will also digitally transform Northampton by making the town more innovative and productive – from connecting schools, health and public services to enabling effortless home-working with instant and reliable access to the cloud and opening up new digital opportunities. One of the key benefits is that this is a network built for both established businesses and start-ups in mind.
Cllr Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Northampton is increasingly a thriving hub of digital activity with the entrepreneurial spirit to make the very best of the opportunities offered by full fibre.
“CityFibre’s Gigabit City development will be of enormous benefit to residents and businesses in Northampton, offering the kind of data transfer speeds required for the modern digital landscape, and this will doubtless also help us progress our redevelopment plans for the town which are really beginning to take shape.”
Indeed, this futureproofed network will be an essential component in deploying 5G networks. The power of 5G will lead to a rise in the use of Internet of Things technology and Smart City initiatives to help benefit residents. From helping to monitor traffic flow, to measuring environmental conditions, 5G will enable a huge number of devices work in symphony to help improve local communities.
Commenting on this further, Cllr Jason Smithers, Cabinet Member for Highways and Place Northamptonshire County Council, said: “We fully support the deployment of future proof fibre optic infrastructure in the Northampton, making it one of the first Gigabit Cities in the UK. This investment will complement other activities delivered through the Superfast Northamptonshire initiative and support our residents and businesses realise the amazing opportunities emerging from the step change to full fibre, accelerating growth and innovation in the local digital economy.”
While that is in the near future, today the immediate task will be to create the network. That is why construction work has officially commenced in the Hardingstone area, with Wootton, Grange Park and Collingtree set to follow. The first homes and businesses will be able to connect to the network from early next year, with works projected to be largely complete by the end of 2022.
CityFibre will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly and work closely with Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council as well as local communities to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out. Residents will be kept informed by door-to-door teams and also mailings ahead of works in their streets.
James Cushing, CityFibre’s City Manager for Northampton, said: “Northampton is one step closer to becoming a Gigabit City, with work now underway to install state-of-the-art digital infrastructure across the town. Soon the first homes will be able to benefit from full fibre, meaning they’ll not only be able to access all of the latest entertainment and services at lightning speed but the smart home technology this enables will give people the freedom to work from home with ease.
“Northampton is one of the most entrepreneurial regions in the country and this investment comes at a critical time for its forward-thinking business community and ambitious regeneration plans. Transformational full fibre connectivity can drive innovation and productivity, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions. And it won’t just improve business locally – it will also help businesses take their products or services to an international audience.”
Currently, fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) is only available to 3 per cent of Northampton and less than 7 per cent of premises across the UK. It is revered as the best in connectivity for its speed, near unlimited bandwidth and reliability. By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps).
Neil Blagden, Director of Digital & Commercial Operations at Vodafone UK, said: “Broadband is the linchpin of modern life and full fibre broadband brings such a dramatic improvement in speed and reliability, boosting the local economy and improving people’s lives. It is immensely exciting to bring cutting-edge Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to the town.”