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New LCR Connect Full Fibre Network Goes Live Across Liverpool

Friday, Feb 23rd, 2024 (6:00 am) - Score 1,200
LCR-Connect-Network-Map-Autumn-2023

The LCR Connect network, which is a £32m joint venture that has rolled out a new 214km long full-fibre (broadband and Ethernet) network across much of the Liverpool City Region, has today become fully operational and made multi-gigabit speed internet connections available to more than 28,000 businesses.

Construction of the new “resilient fibre backhaul” network, which connects into three transatlantic cables (i.e. the ones that make land in Sefton) and major economic clusters in each of the Liverpool City Region’s six local authority areas (Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Wirral), first began during early 2021 (here) – the project is being backed by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA), ITS Technology and NGE.

NOTE: The network map is from LCR-C’s Autumn 2023 update and may thus be out-of-date.

The first sites on this network actually started going live a while ago, before it was completed. But today’s announcement states that the network is now “100% live“. So far a total of over 350 Liverpool City Region firms have already been connected, with another 400 signed-up for future connections.

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Previous reports have estimated that LCR Connect could deliver an initial £105m boost to the local economy and that, with 100% full fibre coverage across the city region, the economic boost might be worth up to £1bn – creating thousands of local jobs. But such forecast should always be taken with a pinch of salt because the region already has a lot of gigabit-capable network coverage from other operators (Openreach, Virgin Media etc.).

Just for context, the 214km network is all new fibre (cable), although it also involves about 118km of existing duct infrastructure, as well as 96km of new build.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said:

“Since I was elected, I’ve been on a mission to transform our region into the most digitally connected area anywhere in the country. Today that vision is one step closer to becoming a reality.

The hallmark of any modern, 21st century city region like ours is how it connects people with opportunity. LCR Connect will help us to create thousands of high quality, secure jobs and training opportunities for local people, attract inward investment and ensure that our businesses can keep pace in an increasingly digital world. Best of all it’s half owned by us, the public, so we can reap the rewards of this investment for years to come.

Our infrastructure has already been put to the test with global cultural events like Eurovision – but this is just the tip of the iceberg of what LCR Connect is capable of. Thanks to devolution, we’re creating a better-connected, more digitally inclusive future for our 1.6m residents.”

The services on offer are said to be “competitively priced“, with a 1Gb circuit from LCR Connect allegedly being about “£700 cheaper per year than the average” and “switching to a 10Gb circuit via LCR Connect can typically save £5,000 in annual charges“. But we can’t see the full package details and prices to help compare, which is not uncommon when it comes to higher end business connectivity solutions.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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Comments
1 Response
  1. Avatar photo Phil Knowles says:

    Good, but misguided initiative from LCRCA- economic benefits way overcooked. From pitches I’ve been to, LCR Connect is just a spine with little distribution network, so totally dependent on further investment to make anything happen/reach premises on scale claimed. Others like Baltic Broadband, Hyperoptic, netomnia, Telcom are having far bigger impact in the city right now.

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