Aberdeen is to become the first Scottish city where nearly every home and business can access gigabit-speed broadband, service providers have announced.
CityFibre will invest at least £40 million in the city-wide roll-out of full fibre broadband as part of the Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) programme in partnership with Vodafone.
The infrastructure provider will start construction of the new FTTP network in Aberdeen in July this year and the first live services are expected by early 2019.
Fibre optic cables are used for every stage of the connection, from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, meaning Vodafone will be able to provide customers with ultrafast broadband services capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Megabits per second).
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.”
Vodafone and City Fibre said Aberdeen was chosen for the project because of the city’s emergent tech sector, the council’s forward-looking commitment to “smart city” initiatives, and the strength of its support for the project.
Customers in Aberdeen will be able to pre-register for the Vodafone full fibre service from Wednesday.
Greg Mesch, CityFibre chief executive, added: “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.”
Aberdeen is the second UK location to be announced as part of a strategic partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre, with Milton Keynes the first place chosen.
The partnership focuses on extending CityFibre’s existing FTTP infrastructure to around 12 cities and reaching one million homes across the UK by 2021.
Douglas Lumsden, co-leader of Aberdeen City Council, welcomed the commitment to Aberdeen.
He 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.”