£29m upgrade to town’s digital infrastructure

Work has started to transform Rotherham into one of the world’s best digitally connected towns.

The project will build a full fibre network, that will reach almost every home and business in the town.

This is a £29m private investment from CityFibre, intended to futureproof Rotherham’s digital infrastructure and provide residents and businesses with access to reliable, high speed and high capacity full fibre broadband.

Full fibre is designed to be a key enabler for smart home technology, while also supporting home working and laying the foundations for smart city initiatives.

Work has started in the Kimberworth area with Heneghan’s delivering the construction programme on CityFibre’s behalf.

CityFibre is also working with Rotherham’s communities and stakeholders, including Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, to manage disruption and ensure a fast and successful roll-out.

Leader of Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Chris Read, said: “The CityFibre investment in Rotherham is a huge boost that supports our ambitions to develop a competitive and sustainable economy that builds on our strengths in advance manufacturing and innovation.

“Rotherham has so much going for it as a business location and having the full fibre network makes it the ideal place for any company to grow or locate.

“Having a full fibre gigabit capable infrastructure will meet the ever increasing digital demands of those living and working in Rotherham now and in the future.”

Natalie Ward, CityFibre’s city manager for Rotherham, said: “Not only will this bring lightning fast speeds to both households and businesses, it will open up much deeper benefits such as enabling smart home technologies and giving people the freedom to work from home with ease.

“Our investment also supports the innovative business community that helps drive the Rotherham economy.

“Through the adoption of next generation Full Fibre connectivity, more innovation and productivity will be driven, ultimately giving businesses the platform they need to realise their growth ambitions.

“Creating a level playing field for local businesses is vital as they seek to compete and sell internationally.”

According to research from economic consultancy Regeneris, the investment could have a major impact on the town over the next 15 years.

It shows that up to £28m could be added to the value of local homes, while Smart City initiatives could add as much as £44m locally.

Access to full fibre could also unlock £27m in business productivity and innovation, while a further £17m in growth could be driven from new business start-ups, with enhanced connectivity making it easier and less expensive to set up base and run efficiently.