As part of Total Telecom’s Connected Britain, VX Fiber hosted a special pre-event day on 20th September 2021, “Local Authorities: Delivering Digital Transformation.” Its aim was to further understand and support the challenges local governments are facing when it comes to the roll-out of next-generation digital infrastructure.
It was clear that while all regions have varying infrastructure needs, the barriers in place were resoundingly similar. Crucially, there must be a shift in culture and mindset. Connectivity must be thought of as an enabling infrastructure, in much the same way, we think of roads, for example.
Second, local authorities are accountable to the communities they serve for how they spend their money. Proper arrangements need to be in place, engaging with relevant key internal and external stakeholders to ensure that an authority’s intended objectives are achieved. Furthermore, there is added pressure and risk to poor governance in the current context of budget cuts and lost revenue streams due to Covid-19.
Initiatives must be effective in a riskier, more time-pressured, and less-resourced environment. In this landscape, it’s crucial that infrastructure is customised to suit that city’s unique requirements. This can only be achieved if fibre operators work in collaboration with local authorities to deliver the vital services that their communities rely on. In fact, a collaborative and open approach is fundamental.
VX Fiber has long recognised that local authorities will be the key to getting the UK on the path to a full fibre future and, as such has built its offering around a structured partnership approach with cities and municipalities based on their vision and objectives, delivering specific outcomes, and achieving desired benefits and value.
While other companies tend to focus their business on profit – they “build and leave” – VX Fiber prioritises joint outcomes with the cities and communities where it operates. As an Active Open Access Neutral fibre operator, VX Fiber enables local authorities to monetise their own passive infrastructure, to generate revenue and cost savings, and regain control of a very lucrative asset.
VX Fiber’s Open Access model has played a key role in enhancing Sweden’s full fibre connectivity where over 80% of homes and businesses are now passed by full fibre, with over 60% of those fully connected. In South Africa, VX Fiber is the largest fibre operator of Active Open Access networks in the country. It commands hundreds of thousands of connections and supports over 60 Service Providers.
With operations across multiple European countries, VX Fiber is committed to long-term investment in the UK as a full fibre, Active Open Access neutral operator. With projects spanning from Stoke-on-Trent, Crewe and Nantwich, Bristol, Colchester, and parts of London, there are many more to follow over the coming months and years. Our philosophy has been at the heart of discussions with UK stakeholders looking at alternative options for getting their communities connected.
It’s been a long road since the Open Access model became a proven concept in Sweden and South Africa, and there is a way to go before the UK’s digital infrastructure catches up. However, the Forum proved that there are a number of excellent local Digital Champions leading the way, with all in attendance committed to taking control of their digital destiny. Our team is looking forward to taking part in the journey and opening a new chapter that will help enable the digital future.
Download “Our Story” to learn more about how we started, the opportunities and challenges ahead, and how we can help you take charge of your digital destiny with Active Open Access full fibre connectivity.