Businesses in Reading and Bracknell are gearing up for future growth, thanks to the towns’ new full-fibre network which connected its first customers this week.
Launched in late 2016, the new network is being delivered by alternative infrastructure provider, CityFibre, as part of its ambitious transformation of the UK’s digital infrastructure. Services are being provided by CityFibre partner and telecommunications specialists, BtL.
Representing a range of sectors including health, IT, recruitment and financial services, the first connected businesses now have access to one of the fastest fibre networks in the world, unleashing greater efficiency, productivity and competitiveness.
The clear link between new full-fibre investment and business growth has been recognised locally, with recent estimates from Thames Valley Berkshire LEP indicating investment in ultra-fast connectivity could help generate an additional £1.2bn GVA for the region over the next five to seven years.
Speaking of the opportunity, Bill Hicks, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at Thames Valley Berkshire LEP said: “We have a twin track strategy of ‘raising the floor’ and ‘raising the ceiling’ for the digital future. The demands on firms to manage data are increasing exponentially, and our sub-region has to be internationally competitive in its provision. This includes high capacity broadband and 5G mobile.
“Our digital connectivity is of paramount importance to our business community at large: our tech-based businesses depend on it, and more broadly, it is a critical infrastructure for our small business community in our rural and urban areas alike.”
Nick Gray, City Development Manager at CityFibre commented: “Reading is already recognised as a centre for innovation across the UK, surpassing London last year with the fastest growing economy in the country. Similarly, Bracknell continues to raise its economic prospect with ambitious plans for regeneration.
“This new 100 per cent fibre infrastructure will play an enormous role in supercharging both towns’ economies whilst also attracting new talent and investment to the wider Thames Valley region.
“As cities across the UK prepare for the challenges and uncertainty ahead, it’s clear that investing in new, future proof digital infrastructure will not only make them more competitive, it will make them stronger, more productive and more resilient as we transition further into the digital age.”
Rob Lamden, Managing Director, BtL added: “Gigabit speed connectivity will transform how we do business in future. With an ultra-fast, ultra-resilient full-fibre connection into a business premises, the true power of cloud technology will be unleashed. We’re very excited to be involved in such a vital project and delighted our first customers in Reading and Bracknell are now able to harness the huge benefits of their new connection.”