Birmingham Science Park invests in high speed broadband upgrade

BIRMINGHAM Science Park is investing in new infrastructure to increase the speed of its broadband connectivity.

The investment will mean connectivity is increased 10-fold, from 200Mbit/s to 2Gbit/s.
The 2Gbit/s capacity will enable each science park tenant to have a dedicated broadband connection of up to 100Mbit/s. Such speeds enable a two-hour, full HD film to download in less than five minutes, and YouTube clips and websites to load instantly.

The Birmingham City Council-owned facility has made the investment after a 70% increase in demand for higher broadband speeds by tenants over the past six months.

The science park’s Faraday Wharf building is now more than 90% occupied and more than 20% cent of the 54 tenants are digital gaming studios. A similar percentage specialise in mobile app development, while other tenants provide link data, computer programming and search engine services.

The 2Gbit/s diverse internet transit is being installed in advance of construction work on the first building within the £35m Digital Plaza development. The circa £8m iCentrum building will include a ground-breaking software development playground and a 10,000 sq ft tech incubation facility. Work is due to get under way later this year.

Birmingham City Council leader Sir Albert Bore, who is also chairman of Birmingham Science Park, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this investment in Birmingham’s technology infrastructure at the start of the MIPIM international property conference.”

He said the public and private sectors in the city had worked together and the pledge demonstrated Birmingham’s aim to become a leading technological centre or Smart City.

“Installing a 2Gbit/s broadband connection at Birmingham Science Park will enable the continued growth of the thriving tech community based there. It is also setting in place vital infrastructure provision for the Park’s £35m Digital Plaza development, which is one of 26 sites within our Enterprise Zone.”

The 2Gbit/s broadband service is being powered by WarwickNet; a specialist business and science park Internet Service Provider. WarwickNet will install two 1Gbit/s lines diversely routed between London and Manchester, ensuring a resilient connection can be provided at all times; a vital need for tech businesses.

Birmingham Science Park will be the only business location in central Birmingham to offer two separate 1Gbit/s pipes for tenants’ use.

David Hardman, CEO of Birmingham Science Park, said: “The vital ingredients of a successful tech hub are a thriving community, a comprehensive business support structure and connectivity. Increasing our broadband capacity to 2Gbit/s reinforces the message that the science park is the place for Greater Birmingham’s tech entrepreneurs to create inspiring, high value content.”