Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced forming a partnership with VX Fiber to roll out Gigabit full fibre broadband to residents in the area.
The council is working with the Swedish provider’s open access approach to build fibre networks in a bid to support its aim to transform the city, becoming a smart and sustainable ‘Gigabit city’.
By installing the all-fibre network, thorugh VX Fiber Open Access platform it is expected to bring Gigabit broadband connectivity to businesses and residents in the town and surrounding areas.
One of the initial aims of the project is to extend full-fibre Gigabit connectivity to the Ceramic Valley Enteprise Zone. The zone is transforming land into sites tailor-made for businesses to locate to, attracting over 1,000 jobs to do. By extending full-fibre to this location will enable better productivity and efficiency to those enterprises set up there.
“Stoke-on-Trent has a brilliant central geographic location, which is boosting its economic growth beyond what much of the rest of the UK is experiencing at the moment,” Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council said. “We’re serious about becoming a sustainable, smart city. However, the traditional part copper based broadband offering currently available simply isn’t enough to keep pace with the fast-changing connectivity demands of today’s economy. Full-fibre Gigabit connectivity addresses these needs and is the cornerstone of our vision for the future growth and prosperity of our city, its residents and businesses.”
The council will retain ownership of the city ring fibre network it already owns, regardless of the partnership, which includes the main ducts across the city to utilise connectivity across Stoke-on-Trent.
Another benefit of VX Fiber’s platform is the ability for operators and service providers to build and launch their own services to run over the network. Additionally, the council can monetise its infrastructure and receive a return on investment in an open access ecosystem.
“Stoke-on-Trent is a forward-looking city that understands the essential role of high speed broadband access to businesses and individuals, and the positive social and economic impact it can have on a community,” VX Fiber Executive Chairman Mikael Sandberg said. “Our work with Stoke-on-Trent City Council provides a template for other UK local authorities and regional governments to follow. By investing in and installing Gigabit-speed fibre themselves, local authorities and councils can take charge of their community’s “digital destiny”, without having to rely on third party telecom operators or ISPs.”
The model also allows for alternative investors in the fibre deployment. Other investors such as housing associations, developers and other land owners can ensure their buildings or developments can benefit from full-fibre.
If successful the initiative could bring huge benefits for the council and make it another on the list for successful full-fibre roll out.