City firms to receive affordable high-speed fibre broadband for the first time

The City of London Corporation today announced that the Square Mile will be one of the first places in the UK to benefit from a city-wide roll-out of ultrafast broadband services.

Today, 21 Whitefriars Street became the first City office building to be connected up to the high-speed technology as part of Openreach’s Fibre First programme and, throughout 2018, 12,000 more premises across the rest of the City of London will be given access to this service.

‘Full-fibre’ or Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology means fibre optic cables run all the way from the local exchange to a home or business premises, offering a far more reliable internet connection with faster download speeds of up to 1Gb – enough to stream 200 HD movies at same time.

 FTTP performs at 100 times faster than the standard copper broadband and 12 times faster than superfast broadband.

The City Corporation has been working closely with Openreach to identify the local demand and encourage the delivery of FTTP infrastructure at no extra cost to landlords.

By allowing out-of-hours and weekend installation of fibre optic cables using existing ducts, many disruptive street works were avoided.

To get the ultra-fast broadband, all businesses and landlords have to do is complete an expression of interest form to request FTTP for their building. Openreach will first arrange a survey to check the infrastructure options available. Following the survey and with the necessary wayleaves in place, Openreach will schedule a date to start work on installation. Once built, customers will be able to choose from a range of service providers.

Catherine McGuinness, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee, said:

“With many City businesses now demanding faster speeds, I am so pleased to have ‘plugged in’ the first City office building to FTTP.

“Ofcom has reported that small and medium businesses experience poorer superfast broadband coverage compared to wider consumers.

“As a world-leading business district, 99% of City firms are SMEs, and futureproofing our digital services is a priority, particularly in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the EU.”

 Clive Selley, Openreach CEO said:

“We’re getting on with the job of delivering full fibre broadband in London - and having a close working relationship with the City of London Corporation helps us to cut down on red tape and deliver more fibre, more quickly and efficiently.

“Our Fibre First programme will see us build an ultrafast Fibre to the Premises network capable of gigabit speeds that are more than 20 times faster than the current UK average.

“We plan to make full fibre connections available to three million UK premises by the end of 2020 and that puts us on a trajectory – if the conditions are right – to reach ten million homes and businesses across the country by the mid-2020s.”

 Brendan Barns, Founder of the London Business Forum said

“As a small business located in the heart of the City, I can’t express how excited we are by this news.

 “For what feels like the longest time, my business has been operating on slow, limited broadband speeds.

 “Finally, I can take the necessary steps to transform my business and my staff’s ability to be productive in the 21st century meaning of that word. This is a day I have long dreamt about.

 “I encourage all local businesses to find out when it will be rolled-out in your area and register your interest.”

The expression of interest form for businesses and landlords to request FTTP for their building is available here: https://communityfibre.openreach.co.uk/cityoflondon