Milton Keynes is to officially become the UK’s latest Gigabit City today with broadband up to 100 times faster than the UK’s average available to businesses, schools and colleges.
The plan, revealed exclusively in the Citizen earlier this month, involves a national alternative digital infrastructure provider called CityFibre making over 160km of pure fibre network throughout Milton Keynes.
This will be provided via city launch partner dbfb and education partner Exa Networks.
Milton Keynes is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, with employment growth expected to hit 4.7 percent this year.
It is also one of the recognised leaders in the developing and promoting of smart city technology with initiatives such as MK:Smart, and the development of a ‘MK Data Hub’ to collect and manage city-wide data in partnership with the Open University.
Disappointingly for many businesses however, MK suffers from internet speeds well below the government’s defined measure of superfast broadband. Northampton-based dbfb will be first to market with a suite of innovative ultra-fast internet services for businesses.
The future-proof network will also be made available to all businesses as well as schools and colleges in Milton Keynes via CityFibre’s educational sector launch partner Exa networks.
As a specialist provider of internet services for educational sites, Networks will be actively migrating its existing customers as well as bringing on board new schools.
Brian Kingston, Managing Director of dbfb, said: “We’re hugely excited to be able to offer state-of-the-art ultra-fast fibre services to transform the way Milton Keynes does business. It’s undebatable that having consistently fast access to the internet is crucial to driving productivity and the bottom-line. Connecting to a pure fibre network will make it easy to harness business access solutions like VoIP and cloud services that may otherwise be unavailable and dbfb look forward to helping companies reap the benefits.”
Greg Mesch, CEO of CityFibre, added: “We’re thrilled to be announcing Milton Keynes as our next Gigabit City. Despite leading the way in smart city thinking, this city is yet another example of those still strangled by poor digital connectivity. Our pure fibre network, now available to businesses through our partners at dbfb, will catapult Milton Keynes to be alongside some of the best connected cities in the world.”
Cllr Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Resources and Innovation at Milton Keynes City Council, told the Citizen: “It’s difficult to overstate how much of an impact becoming a Gigabit City is going to have on Milton Keynes. For MK businesses to compete on a national and indeed global scale, we not only need the high skilled people we are lucky to have in the city, but also the ultra-fast digital infrastructure to make it all happen.
“As a Council, we’ve ploughed many millions into the broadband infrastructure of the city over recent years - but there’s still much more to be done. The latest huge investment from CityFibre in Milton Keynes will make ultra-fast internet even more accessible to local businesses. Access is key to micro businesses thriving, cutting edge digital businesses choosing to call MK home, and for pioneering initiatives like our driverless cars being able to achieve their full potential. I’m very proud to be able to call MK a Gigabit City.”
Milton Keynes Gigabit City will be officially launched at an event today at The Imovation Centre in Milton Keynes.
Businesses, public sector organisations and schools are now able to register their no obligation interest.