Work is underway in Renfrewshire to bring full fibre infrastructure to homes and businesses across the region as part of a £40million private investment from CityFibre.
Building on its long-standing strategic relationship with Renfrewshire Council to upgrade its digital connectivity, CityFibre’s existing network, serving council buildings including schools, local libraries and community centres, will be extended by approximately 700km.
Construction work has officially commenced in Paisley, with the first homes and businesses expected to be able to connect to the network from early 2021. Across the UK, CityFibre is working with an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver next generation broadband services.
PMK is delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf and is following social distancing protocols to ensure the safety of the build team and the wider community.
CityFibre has appointed David Cannon, formerly of the David MacBrayne Group and Scottish Enterprise, as its City Manager with responsibility for ensuring close communication with the Council and stakeholders across the region, as well as delivering maximum benefit for the wider community.
Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “The £40million investment we are making in the area is the result of years of close collaboration with Renfrewshire Council. Full Fibre connectivity will put the region at the forefront of the digital transformation we are driving across the country. As the world adapts to COVID-19, the importance of delivering world-leading digital infrastructure for residents and businesses could not be greater.”
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I am delighted to see work well underway on developing this state-of-the-art Full Fibre network which will make Renfrewshire one of the best connected regions in Scotland and bring benefits to residents and businesses alike.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has underlined how much we all need fast, reliable broadband connections and demand for better bandwidth continues to grow year on year so it’s vitally important for our businesses, for our schools and for our residents that we have a resilient, future-proofed network to be proud of.”
Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, added: “This is an important first step in our plan to transform connectivity in Renfrewshire. We are taking a strategic long-term approach which has prompted this fantastic private investment by CityFibre, with the benefits to reach Renfrewshire doorsteps early next year.
“The Full Fibre network will bolster business as we recover and restart from the impact of Coronavirus and greatly improve connectivity to our schools, tackle digital exclusion and enhance the experience at local libraries, town halls, community centres and care homes.”
Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP, Gavin Newlands said: “I know from my casework how frustrating it can be when broadband speeds don’t keep up with demand, especially with so many people working from home right now, so I am delighted that the Council’s leadership have delivered such a massive dividend for our community.
“Transformational investment in our infrastructure will make Renfrewshire one of the best connected regions in Scotland, ensuring more people than ever have access to full fibre broadband. Making Renfrewshire a digital leader will help boost economic growth and create jobs, at a time when we need every tool at our disposal to drive the recovery out of coronavirus.”
Main photo (at top) (Left to Right) David Cannon, CityFibre’s City Manager_ Finance Convener, Councillor John Shaw_ Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson