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Vodafone and CityFibre choose Milton Keynes for FTTP roll-out

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Milton Keynes is set to become the first community to benefit from gigabit-capable ‘full fibre’ broadband under the new Vodafone and CityFibre fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) programme. The project will see CityFibre invest at least £40 million into the city’s digital infrastructure.

The news follows the announcement two months ago of a strategic partnership between Vodafone and CityFibre (see Vodafone-CityFibre deal could shake up British broadband). Milton Keynes is the first location to be announced under this deal, which will ultimately involve FTTP being made available in approximately 12 cities and reaching one million homes and business across the UK.

CityFibre will start construction of the new FTTP network in Milton Keynes in March this year. This will be an extension of its existing 160km fibre network in the city, which is already being used to connect business customers. CityFibre will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly and minimise disruption. Once completed, nearly every business and home in Milton Keynes will have FTTP access, according to the company.

Milton Keynes was chosen as the first city because of the city’s strong tech sector, the council’s forward-looking commitment to ‘smart city’ initiatives, and the strength of its support for the project. The extent of CityFibre’s existing fibre network in the city and the absence of any alternative digital infrastructure, helped make Milton Keynes a prime candidate for selection.

Cllr Peter Marland, Leader at Milton Keynes Council, said: ‘We are delighted that Milton Keynes has been selected as the first city in this full fibre roll-out by Vodafone and CityFibre. As a modern city that prides itself on its smart city ambitions and projects, we are perfectly positioned to make the most of this major private investment in our digital infrastructure. We know that the city will get behind this project to ensure that every home and business unlocks their digital potential.’

Vodafone UK Chief Executive Nick Jeffery added: ‘Milton Keynes is fast becoming a UK leader for productivity and growth, with its economic prospects only likely to improve following the opening of the East West Rail project. We believe that residents deserve a digital communications service to match their ambitions. This is why we are providing gigabit-capable connections to transform the way we live and work.’

By using fibre-optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home to the internet, Vodafone will be able to provide residents of Milton Keynes with extremely fast and reliable broadband services capable of gigabit speeds. At that speed, hospitals will be able to download a 2GB CT scan in just 17 seconds – compared to 11 minutes over a standard broadband connection and film fans will be able to download the latest 60 GB Ultra-HD blockbuster in 8.5 minutes instead of 6 hours.

Customers in Milton Keynes can pre-register for the service now, with the first live services expected towards the end of 2018.

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