Aberdeen to become Scotland’s first gigabit-speed fibre broadband city in £40m project

(L-R), Councillor Douglas Lumsden, Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary, Rob Hamlin, CityFibre and Guilhem Poussot (Vodafone) (1280x853)

Aberdeen is set to become a forerunner for digital transformation in Scotland with the announcement of a new Gigabit-capable full fibre broadband network under the Vodafone and CityFibre Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) programme.

The partnership will mean that Aberdeen becomes Scotland’s first city in which nearly every home and business will have access to gigabit-speed broadband. CityFibre will invest at least £40 million of private funds in the city-wide roll-out.

Fibre optic cables are used for every stage of the connection, from the customer’s home or business to the internet. Vodafone will be able to provide customers with ultrafast and reliable broadband services capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps). At present, just three per cent of UK premises have access to those levels of connectivity.

Aberdeen was chosen as the first FTTP city in Scotland because of the emergent tech sector, Aberdeen City Council’s commitment to ‘smart city’ initiatives and the strength of its support for the project.

Cllr Douglas Lumsden, Co-Leader of Aberdeen City Council, said: “This announcement represents a significant step forward in delivering connectivity which will change the lives of residents and give businesses access to new ways of working.

“Aberdeen City Council is determined to lead from the front in digital transformation and enhance the city’s standing on the global stage. The collaboration with CityFibre and Vodafone is a wonderful example of our partnership approach in action – where the financial commitment we have made through the Aberdeen City Region Deal will leverage £40million of private investment in our city’s infrastructure.”

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery said: “Our Gigabit broadband services, delivered over CityFibre’s new full fibre networks, will help Aberdeen build on its credentials in innovation and as one of the best places to start a business. It will also transform consumers’ daily lives through superior Internet access. We’re committed to helping businesses, entrepreneurs and residents embrace the new gigabit society in Aberdeen, the technological heart of Scotland.”

Prior to today’s announcement, the Council signed a deal with CityFibre to invest £2m of funding in the first wave of infrastructure connectivity to key parts of the city as part of the digital infrastructure strategy of the Aberdeen City Region Deal.

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre said: “Our commitment to Aberdeen is further evidence of the action CityFibre is taking to deliver Britain’s full fibre future. Our existing network in Aberdeen provides us with an eighteen-month head-start on a full fibre roll-out to nearly every home and business in the city. With similar FTTP backbone networks already built in over 40 UK towns and cities, our contribution to national full fibre coverage is well underway. We are getting on with the job of building Gigabit Britain – at full speed.”

Fergus Ewing MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “This Government is committed to working with the private sector and local authorities to deliver the digital infrastructure needed all across Scotland to enable people and businesses to succeed. I therefore welcome this significant project from CityFibre and Vodafone. It will help transform Aberdeen into one of the UK’s best connected cities and contribute to our goal of an economically and digitally future-proofed Scotland. I am delighted that the Scottish Government’s recent £2m investment to increase broadband speeds for key public buildings across Aberdeen has helped pave the way for this deal.”

Aberdeen is the second UK location to be announced as part of a strategic partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre. Construction of the new FTTP network in Aberdeen is scheduled to begin in July. Once completed, nearly every business and home in Aberdeen will have FTTP access.