CityFibre gets to work on future-proofing Sunderland’s digital foundations with £62m full fibre investment

Patrick Melia and Jason Legget 10

Patrick Melia and Jason Legget

Work to bring full fibre connectivity within reach of almost every home and business in Sunderland gets underway today as CityFibre, the UK’s largest independent full fibre platform, breaks ground on a new infrastructure rollout that will future-proof the city’s digital needs and further its smart city ambitions.

CityFibre is now coordinating advance works with the Council’s resurfacing programme across the city, ahead of the main £62m build programme commencing this month. Works will be delivered by MAP Group on CityFibre’s behalf using a range of construction methods to deliver a fast rollout, while minimising potential disruption.

Each area will usually take just a few weeks to complete; however, construction teams will typically only be outside each home for two to three days and CityFibre will be in touch by mail ahead of any work starting.

The overall project is expected to reach completion by 2025 and the first services will go live for people to take advantage of much sooner. As the network is completed in each neighbourhood, internet service providers (ISPs) will ‘light them up’ with some of the fastest and best value full fibre broadband packages available in the country.

Speaking of the project, Jason Legget, CityFibre’s City Manager for Sunderland, said: “I’m immensely excited and proud to see work getting underway in Sunderland. The city has truly embraced the potential of full fibre and has a robust plan in place to be a genuine leader in smart city technology.

“For residents, 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 now and for decades to come.”

Patrick Melia, Chief Executive at Sunderland City Council, said: “It is fantastic that CityFibre is now ready to start delivering its £62m infrastructure investment programme in Sunderland. This will deliver a citywide network that will benefit residents, businesses and services, enabling us to further accelerate Sunderland’s digital transformation and catalyse economic growth.

“This is a once in a generation upgrade that will future-proof our network infrastructure at a time when connectivity has never been so important. The digital age is here and we’re ready for it.”