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TECHNOLOGY


Connecting lives in Derby with full-fibre technology


With Derby’s full-fibre transformation well underway, digital infrastructure provider CityFibre’s Derby city manager Dominika Walker talks about the impact gigabit-speed connectivity will have on the city and what changes can be expect to happen in people’s daily lives.


FULL FIBRE – WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? Full-fibre connections can deliver gigabit-capable speeds. That’s a dramatic upgrade on what most people currently use and makes all sorts of things much easier in terms of speeds and data handling. More importantly, full-fibre networks offer far greater reliability than older legacy copper networks, while being cheaper to maintain and operate. However, at the moment only


about 15% of UK premises and only two per cent of premises in Derby have access to full fibre, leaving us far behind the rest of continental Europe. CityFibre is investing up to £4bn through its Gigabit City Investment Programme to solve this problem – bringing full-fibre connectivity to up to eight million premises across the country. In


Derby, we are investing at least £45m to bring full-fibre infrastructure to almost every home and business across the city.


ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF FULL FIBRE According to research carried out by the economic consultancy Regeneris, full fibre will generate huge economic benefits over the next 15 years, helping Derby generate £39m in business productivity and innovation benefits, as well as £21m from new start-ups. Up to £70m could also be added to the value of homes in Derby as access to reliable, high- speed broadband becomes ever- more critical to buyers.


HOME LIFE As well as bringing us closer to friends, family and colleagues via


apps like Skype and Zoom, full-fibre connectivity is a real enabler for technology – allowing us to do things smarter, faster and more efficiently. The Regeneris report highlights


that smart city initiatives – including home automation technologies, smart energy networks and intelligent transportation systems – could add as much as £69m in benefits locally. Full-fibre connectivity brings the


internet of things (IoT) to life. Wouldn’t it be great to save more time on our daily tasks with smarter homes? Intelligent homes can manage our refrigerators to minimise waste, control room temperature and lighting, and improve energy efficiency.


WORK LIFE With city-wide connectivity, smart city initiatives such as autonomous


vehicles and intelligent traffic detection become a reality. The next step could easily be smart traffic lights that detect congestion and alter patterns to ease traffic flow. Access to full-fibre connectivity


in Derby could unlock £19m in business productivity and a further £20m in innovation by helping businesses boost their customer and employee experience through newer, faster and more reliable technology. The speed and bandwidth capabilities of full-fibre connectivity means faster access to data and smoother running of applications stored on the cloud. This makes it easier and cheaper


for businesses to set up base and implement remote working practices, which reduce barriers to employment and improve employees’ work-life balance.


68 business network October 2020


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