Work to start on £50m broadband boost for Norwich

CityFibre is planning a £50m investment to install full fibre broadband to 100,000 homes and propert

A £50m scheme would see almost 100,000 Norwich homes and businesses get access to better broadband. - Credit: CityFibre

Work on a £50m scheme which will give almost 100,000 Norwich homes and businesses access to better broadband is due to start later this year.

Last year it was announced that Norwich City Council was working with London-based CityFibre to install full fibre optic cables across the city.

And, at a full council meeting on Tuesday (July 20) night, it was confirmed work to install the network, which would cover 97,000 homes and commercial properties, is due to begin in September.

The work, which will take two and a half years to complete, had been due to start last year but was delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CityFibre says full fibre services can give speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, near unlimited bandwidth and improved reliability.

The council says a full fibre network would bring a “significant boost” to the economy and fits the council’s plans to help the city recover from the impact of coronavirus.

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. Picture: Ian Burt

Alan Waters, leader of Norwich City Council. - Credit: Archant


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Alan Waters, Norwich City Council leader, said: "Improving broadband capacity in the city is an important part of our Covid 19 recovery plan and we are making good on that commitment.

"The investment by CityFibre will allow 97,000 homes and businesses in Norwich to embrace full fibre Broadband technology.

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"A local delivery team has been recruited and contractors are in place to start in September 2021.

"The build will be delivered in sections with each completed section being “switched on” as work commences on the next, meaning some areas of the city will go live early in 2022.

"CityFibre will inform residents and businesses around two weeks before works in their area start, with follow-up communication once works are complete explaining how to connect to the new services.

"Whether using Broadband to drive businesses, access healthcare, education, entertainment, or homeworking opportunities this provides a significant economic boost to Norwich, its residents and business community."

Work on a £50m scheme which will give almost 100,000 Norwich homes and businesses access to better broadband is due to start later this year.

Last year it was announced that Norwich City Council was working with London-based CityFibre to install full fibre optic cables across the city.

And, at a full council meeting on Tuesday (July 20) night, it was confirmed work to install the network, which would cover 97,000 homes and commercial properties, is due to begin in September.

The work, which will take two and a half years to complete, had been due to start last year but was delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

CityFibre says full fibre services can give speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, near unlimited bandwidth and improved reliability.

The council says a full fibre network would bring a “significant boost” to the economy and fits the council’s plans to help the city recover from the impact of coronavirus.

Alan Waters, Norwich City Council leader, said: "Improving broadband capacity in the city is an important part of our Covid 19 recovery plan and we are making good on that commitment.

"The investment by CityFibre will allow 97,000 homes and businesses in Norwich to embrace full fibre Broadband technology.

"A local delivery team has been recruited and contractors are in place to start in September 2021.

"The build will be delivered in sections with each completed section being “switched on” as work commences on the next, meaning some areas of the city will go live early in 2022.

"CityFibre will inform residents and businesses around two weeks before works in their area start, with follow-up communication once works are complete explaining how to connect to the new services.

"Whether using Broadband to drive businesses, access healthcare, education, entertainment, or homeworking opportunities this provides a significant economic boost to Norwich, its residents and business community."

Utilities specialist Telec Networks has been appointed as contractor for the work.

Charles Kitchin, CityFibre’s city manager for Norwich said: “The next chapter in Norwich’s story starts here.

"Our builders will soon get to work on a city-wide full fibre network – and 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 that propels you forward rather than holds you back. 

"The appointment of a contractor is a major step forward for us as we prepare to bring full fibre connectivity to the city at the same time as creating new jobs and opportunities.

"I look forward to working closely with Telec Networks, residents of Norwich and local authority partners to deliver this vital project which will future-proof the city’s digital infrastructure.”

CityFibre is already investing at least £14m in Lowestoft to replace ageing copper-based networks.

Figures released by the House of Commons last year showed some parts of the city ranked in the bottom 30pc in the country for access to what is defined as ‘decent broadband’.

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