Full fibre network construction is now underway to connect public sector premises across the City of Wolverhampton.
It forms part of the council’s overall Digital Infrastructure Strategy to improve broadband connectivity to enable smart technology and accessibility for all, improved digital infrastructure complementing electric vehicle growth and sustainable transport.
The council last month announced the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, CityFibre, as its preferred rollout partner.
They are currently laying fibre in Dudley Street while re-paving works take place in this city centre location.
In the coming months CityFibre, and its build partner Comex 2000, will be carrying out works across the rest of the city to provide future-proof Gigabit connectivity that will upgrade the delivery of frontline public sector services.
Construction of the network to serve public sector premises, including council sites, libraries, Wolverhampton Homes offices and schools, is expected to be completed by spring 2021.
It comes after the council secured £4.9million government funding from the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Network project.
Taking in around 170 sites, the new network will help to upgrade the delivery of frontline public sector services, lowering operational costs and boosting productivity. It will also help meet the growing demand from residents for digital services in public buildings, support the improvement of educational resources, and bridge the digital divide.
Cabinet Member for Resources, Councillor Louise Miles, said: “The development of digitally innovative and future-proofed learning environments and curricula is vital to ensure that our learners leave school as some of the most technologically capable young people in the country.
“Better connectivity in public buildings is essential to ensure residents are digital included.
“Our libraries are committed to giving people access to new and emerging digital technology through the provision of computers, free WiFi and other digital technologies and developing digital skills.”
Head of Public Sector Sales at CityFibre, Andy Nash, added: “We are working closely with the City of Wolverhampton Council to deliver a much-needed upgrade to crucial public sector infrastructure that will serve the area for decades to come. A full fibre network will ensure the people and businesses of Wolverhampton will be able to access an increasing amount of modern, digital services from their local authority.”
Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: "Thanks to our funding more and more vital public sector sites across Wolverhampton will now have 21st century gigabit speed broadband. This will be a real boost for the city's libraries, educational services and public buildings, with the benefits felt throughout the wider region. This is all part of our plans to level up the country by investing in world-class infrastructure and connectivity."