£40m full fibre broadband scheme to be rolled out across Northampton

A £40 million scheme to make Northampton one of the ‘best digitally connected communities in the world’ has been approved by the borough council’s cabinet.

Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 7:04 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd January 2020, 8:07 pm

Internet firm CityFibre is investing the sum to make the town among the first locations in the UK to receive a full-fibre broadband rollout. It will provide homes and businesses with gigabit broadband speeds.

Currently, only three per cent of the town has full fibre, below the eight per cent national average. But once the programme is complete the borough council expects a full-fibre town to boost the town’s economy by approximately £160 million through ‘productivity improvements, new business start-ups and increased house prices’.

The first homes and businesses are expected to connect in the first few months this year, with the rollout projected to be virtually completed by the end of 2022. Construction work has already started in Brackmills, Hardingstone and Wootton, with Grange Park, Collingtree and East Hunsbury to follow soon.

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The project will improve broadband speeds for businesses and homes in Northampton
The project will improve broadband speeds for businesses and homes in Northampton

Speaking at a borough council cabinet meeting on Wednesday (January 22), Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “This agreement with CityFibre will get us well up the league table for fibre. Technology investment is really on the up and this shows that we are putting our money where our mouth is, despite what some doomsayers may say.

“It’s a very exciting moment for Northampton, and in some ways, it will be very similar to the coming of electricity because it’s going to be that vital for everybody. So this is a red-letter day for Northampton.”

Vodafone will also be using CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband services to the town. By using CityFibre’s fibre-optic cables at every stage of a connection instead of traditional telephone lines, Vodafone Gigafast Broadband is expected to give users download speeds 16 times faster and upload speeds 125 times faster than the average fixed broadband service in the UK.

Other providers will be able to access the network to offer services in the future.