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Liverpool to Rent Out Underground Ducts to Foster Fibre Optic Broadband

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 (1:26 pm) - Score 2,337
fiber optic cable bright

The city of Liverpool is already well covered by “superfast” (24Mbps+) capable broadband services, but the local authority are now looking to further boost connectivity to “ultrafast” levels (usually 100Mbps+ or Gigabit territory) by renting out their underground cable ducts to private investment.

Naturally private operators benefit by virtue of not having to conduct so much expensive civil work, such as digging up roads, and thus also minimising local irritation among the community. No doubt this is something that Cityfibre will view with interest.

Gary Millar, Cabinet Member for Business, said (here):

“I know from my discussions with potential investors that the city is losing out on investment and business growth because of a perception about broadband speeds in the city simply not being fast enough.

We also need existing businesses to be able to take advantage of faster speeds to handle growing needs and enable them to win more contracts and custom. As well as supporting existing firms, it will also help us attract new businesses to the city.

We have exciting times ahead of us and in this case our ambition is to be fast, really fast and if possible as ultra fast as technology allows – and with the help of providers make it as low cost as it can possibly be.”

It’s worth pointing out that Hyperoptic are also connecting a number of large apartments and office blocks to their 1Gbps FTTP network in the city. Virgin Media has also been expanding their cable network in the area and BT’s FTTC/P coverage is increasing under the £15.9m Merseyside Connected project.

In addition, we also recall a 2011 partnership between AIMES Grid Services, 2020 Liverpool, VirginMedia Business and Global Crossing that made use of some existing Dark Fibre in order to construct a £1m demonstrator network that could deliver 10Gbps to a few local firms (here). But little has since been heard of that.

Whatever the future holds, a deal is expected to be agreed by the end of this year.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar high-fibre-diet

    Sounds like a rare stroke of sensible thinking from local government; however as the linked article suggest that “A long term contract could be awarded by the end of the year” then if the contract is indeed singular then hopefully it goes to somebody who is willing to provide open access to other operators 🙂

  2. Avatar AndyC

    I never knew local goverments owned ducting, i thought it was the property of whoever installed it. wonder what the rental charges will be and who has to dig the road to fix any problems.

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