GLASGOW and Dundee are amongst 36 areas in the UK set to become the latest Gigabit Cities to benefit from a full fibre network.

CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, says the cities will each benefit from a “future-proof” network as part of its up-to £4 billion Gigabit City Investment Programme, targeting up to eight million premises in the UK.

CityFibre has also accelerated the mobilisation of its network build capabilities, with a process underway to award £1.5bn in construction contracts by the summer. These are expected to be granted by July, enabling the selected partners to secure and mobilise their workforce in preparation for network construction to begin in nearly all the announced cities by the end of 2020.

The networks will support the digital needs of homes, businesses, next generation mobile networks and public services for generations.

Underpinned by a full fibre infrastructure platform, the cities are set to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth across the country, supporting the Infrastructure Commission for Scotland’s recommendation for full fibre infrastructure for all of Scotland by 2027.

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TalkTalk has committed to becoming part of the network, joining Vodafone and more than 1500 business and public sector internet service providers.

Most recently, mobile operator Three has committed to the network to support its nationwide rollout of 5G services, further accelerating CityFibre’s network deployment plans.

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “Scotland’s need for a world-class digital infrastructure has never been greater, which is why we stand firmly behind the Scottish Government’s plan to enhance digital connectivity across all of Scotland to drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth and act as a key enabler of tackling climate change and transitioning to a low carbon economy.

“Full fibre will play a critical role in levelling-up Scotland and so today we are accelerating our plans, bringing full fibre to additional cities even faster.”

Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse, said: “This is very welcome news from CityFibre as it announces further commercial full fibre rollouts in Scotland which complement the Scottish Government’s target of ensuring access to a minimum of superfast broadband for each and every premises in Scotland.

“Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy. Commercial investment plays a vital role in supporting digital connectivity in Scotland. We want to create an environment that sees Scotland regarded as the best place to invest in telecoms anywhere in the UK; an environment that encourages and promotes commercial investment.”