‘A step change’: Work starts on full fibre network infrastructure for Kettering
Kettering is to be the next town in line for a multi-million-pound investment in its digital infrastructure, a move that will see it join the nation’s growing list of full fibre enabled communities.
Full fibre provider CityFibre is set to invest £17 million in a new network that will bring full fibre-enabled internet services within reach of nearly every business and home in the town.
Construction work is under way around the Northfield Avenue and Rockingham Road area in the north of the town. As work is completed in each neighbourhood, CityFibre will designate the homes ready for service, which means residents can choose to connect to full fibre-enabled broadband services when they go live in their area.
Full fibre networks, unlike many of the copper-based fibre broadband services available today, use 100 per centfibre optic technology to carry data at light speed between the home to the point of connection.
This gives users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps for upload and download, says CityFibre. Its area manager James Cushing is overseeing the delivery of the Kettering project.
“CityFibre’s investment will bring a step change in connectivity for Kettering,” Mr Cushing said. “It will bring choice for residents and businesses and align perfectly with the ambitious regeneration and growth plans for the town. We think people will be blown away by the difference it will make, both now and for generations to come.
“We cannot wait for residents and businesses to see what is possible with digital connectivity and the important part it will play in each of our lives.”
A full fibre connection is a major boost to businesses and households. Experts say it will drive a range of economic benefits, enabling businesses to be more productive, innovative and access new markets and helping residents to work from home and access essential services.
Cllr David Howes, North Northamptonshire Council’s executive member for rural communities and localism, said: “Getting the right digital infrastructure in place is a big priority for the council – it is so important in so many ways. Increasing full fibre connectivity helps support economic growth and innovation as well as keeping communities connected.”
Full fibre connectivity is now available to almost 30pc of properties in North Northants, up from less than 10pc two years ago. CityFibre’s plans will bring the area closer to the council’s 40pc target for the end of next year and 80pc by 2028.
In Kettering, construction is being delivered by Granemore Group. It intends to use a range of construction methods while working in partnership with North Northamptonshire Council, Kettering Town Council and local communities to deliver a fast roll-out while minimising potential disruption.
Each area will typically take a few weeks to complete and construction teams aim to be outside each home for only two to three days. CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.
The overall project is expected to be completed by 2024 and the first services will go live much sooner.
In Kettering, services will be available from an increasing range of broadband providers. Across the UK, CityFibre is already working with Vodafone, Zen and Giganet to supply full fibre infrastructure for customers, while TalkTalk and other providers are expected to join the network soon.
The Kettering project is part of CityFibre’s Gigabit City Investment Programme across the UK that is worth up to £4 billion.