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Gloucestershire Business News

CityFibre starts work on Cheltenham's £30m broadband upgrade

Work to bring full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in Cheltenham is officially underway.

CityFibre, the UK's largest independent full fibre platform, has now broken ground on a new infrastructure rollout that it hopes will futureproof the town's digital needs for generations to come.

Neil Madle CityFibre's City Manager for Cheltenham, said: "This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the town as it gets ready to thrive in the digital age. As the UK's first dedicated hub supporting the growth and development of cyber security businesses, technology, research and skills, Cheltenham needs the fast, reliable and future-proofed digital connectivity that only full fibre infrastructure can provide if it's to fully realise its Cyber Central ambitions."

Full fibre networks, unlike many of the copper-based 'fibre broadband' services available today, use 100 per cent fibre optic cables to carry data at light speed all the way from the home to the point of connection, giving users speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps.

Mr Madle added: "It's important to remember that any short-term disruption will pay off tremendously in the long-term - once the network's built, it will serve the community's connectivity needs for decades to come."

Construction of the network started in Alstone and is being delivered by Kier Group. The team will use a range of construction methods, while working in close partnership with Cheltenham Borough Council and local communities to deliver a fast rollout while minimising potential disruption.

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk added: "Securing fast, reliable broadband for all residents, businesses and services across Cheltenham has long been a key personal priority, so it's fantastic to see work now underway on CityFibre's ambitious £30m infrastructure rollout.

"Investments such as this aid economic recovery, with this once in a generation upgrade future-proofing our network infrastructure at a time when digital connectivity has never been so important. Not only will this make Cheltenham an even better place to live, work and visit, it will strengthen our position as a world-leading hub for cyber technology."

The overall project is expected to reach completion by the end of 2023 but CityFibre said the first services will go live for people to take advantage of much sooner.

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