A citywide broadband network with one of the fastest speeds in the country is being rolled out in Stoke-on-Trent – and customers are being encouraged to register their interest.
The project will create the UK’s first ever publicly-owned and operated, open access gigabit network, with the potential for tens of thousands of homes and businesses to benefit from world-class speeds.
Customers linked to the 60-mile network will be able to choose from a list of independent service providers – including broadband and communications.
The roll-out was launched on, Wednesday, October 23.
City leaders say the project will attract more investment, businesses and jobs to the area, help to boost provision for residents, increase choice and aim to make the broadband market in Stoke-on-Trent more competitive.
The full-fibre scheme will see cables installed right into homes and businesses – rather than to a street-side cabinet – replacing the old copper wires of traditional broadband.
This will provide access to consistent connections that are around 30 times the speed of superfast broadband – making it possible to download an HD film or game in seconds.
Customers will be able to:
• Have multiple devices running at the same time;
• Enjoy crystal clear video calling;
• Stream multiple HD videos at once;
• Work from home productively and efficiently;
• Connect a wide variety of smart devices such as locks or heating.
Gigabit connections will also provide significant opportunities for businesses to transform their ways of working – including the creation of new high-tech jobs.
The project is expected to create a significant boost to the local economy, by making firms more competitive, attracting inward investment and jobs, improving homes and more.
Gigabit broadband will also play a key part in the city council’s plans for Stoke-on-Trent to become a ‘smart city’ – using infrastructure, information and technology to improve life for everyone who lives, works and visits the region.
The project will help the youngest and most vulnerable residents of the city to access support, while also helping to reduce social isolation and increase community engagement.
Installation will start in Weston Coyney and be followed by Meir, Longton, Shelton and Bentilee. If there is enough demand in a particular area, the company will prioritise that part of the city for future installation.
Conservative Councillor Daniel Jellyman, cabinet member for regeneration, infrastructure and heritage, said: “Access to ultra-fast connectivity is an essential part of 21st century living. It’s about faster speeds and more reliable connections for residents and businesses, but it also plays a vital role in transforming communities with improvements such as better access to employment, education and healthcare.”