Hailed as the UK’s entrepreneurial city of the year and a hub for Scotland’s tech-savviest minds, Edinburgh – one of the country’s largest Gigabit Cities – presents a significant opportunity to drive economic growth and investment through its digital sector. But this wasn’t always the case. The demand for ultrafast connectivity from both private and public sector organisations had been mounting for some time.
Struggling with aged copper networks and planned upgrades were not up to speed with the city’s aspiration to become one of the UK’s most digitally connected cities, Edinburgh’s digital future didn’t always look so certain. However, in June 2015 this was remedied when CityFibre launched its full-fibre gigabit network alongside it’s launch partner and local internet service provider, Commsworld, and global ICT firm, CGI.
As one of the early adopters of full-fibre in the city, digital marketing business 180Vita backs this vision. Excited about the international opportunities this new infrastructure is affording Edinburgh’s business community, the company’s chief financial operator, Tom Alford, explained: “The future of Edinburgh hinges on world-class connectivity, in our opinion. The ability to leverage connectivity, results in a more meritocratic world, whereby great businesses with a global footprint can be forged and scaled at speeds that were previously impossible – until now.”
Spanning the city centre to the outer suburbs, the 150km Edinburgh gigabit network looks set to continue growing. With increasing demand from businesses of all sizes and public sector organisations, CityFibre will continue building and investing at the rate the city dictates.
With more than 300 council buildings connected, including more than 130 schools, the City of Edinburgh Council’s demand for full-fibre connectivity has also provided a strong foundation for growth of the CityFibre network.
The new Gigabit City network provides the council with a future proofed platform to deliver innovative, more efficient public services. It allows experimentation with smart city initiatives and new teaching techniques that would not previously have been possible, while also extending the network footprint across the wider city, allowing more local businesses to benefit from the transformational impact of full-fibre.
“By partnering with Commsworld and CGI to connect to CityFibre’s infrastructure, the City of Edinburgh Council has enabled the construction of world-leading digital infrastructure that not only makes a significant statement to the global investment community but is helping to accelerate the growth of city organisations that can now connect to gigabit internet services and transform the way they do business. We have achieved this by being innovative about our own needs and ensuring that they have created this opportunity for businesses across the city.
“Digital investment is a long-term solution that will support the city as new ways of working evolve, data usage and storage needs to continue to grow and ever faster data processing is required.”
James McClafferty, head of development for CityFibre in Scotland, said: “Edinburgh has fully embraced the digital future of Scotland with a palpable reverence for technology and its ability to unleash the city’s full economic potential. The other Gigabit Cities in Scotland are also benefiting in similar ways but this is just the start.
Ultimately, if Scotland is to remain innovative and we are to continue to support our business community on a competitive global playing field, then it needs to invest in the future. And the future is not paved in asphalt, it is lined with fibre.”
CityFibre have full-fibre networks in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Stirling – follow the link to find out if your business is within reach of the network: cityfibre.com/connect
Scotland’s gigabit revolution: a full-fibre digital transformation
As he addressed attendees at Dell EMC World 2017, Michael Dell said: “Scotland is acting as a significant catalyst to the country’s [UK] aspirations to be viewed not only as a key European location but as a fully-fledged global digital hub.” Echoing Dell’s sentiments by building transformational full-fibre Gigabit City networks, CityFibre is committed to seeing Scotland realise its aspirations and affirm its position as a digital leader.
In the past, investment in Scotland’s traditional infrastructure such as roads, bridges and railways has delivered significant economic benefit by creating jobs, supporting local supply chains and improving the environment in which local businesses operate. Digital infrastructure is no different, and its benefits are further- reaching in many ways. Not only does it support those who build it, it drives the competitiveness, productivity and efficiency of those who use it – from small businesses and universities to public services like schools and hospitals.
As a builder of Gigabit Cities, alternative provider CityFibre is a big believer in the wide-reaching potential of its next-generation digital infrastructure. The alternative investment (AIM) listed business is currently revolutionising Scotland’s cities by investing in and building state-of-the-art digital infrastructure and, alongside internet service provider (ISP) partners, the networks are equipping Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Stirling with ultrafast internet connectivity that is future-proofed for decades to come.
Transforming a city into a Gigabit City involves providing local businesses and organisations with access to revolutionary full-fibre digital infrastructure that unleashes the power of unlimited bandwidth and ultimately creates a more- competitive business environment. Connected businesses across Scotland’s major cities have already reported experiencing a new level of productivity, innovation and efficiency thanks to their new gigabit speed connection.
Full-fibre also provides a platform for mobile upgrades and fibre to the home (FTTH) capabilities, two key areas of focus in Scotland’s digital strategy. CityFibre’s recent announcement of a strategic partnership with Vodafone will bring ultrafast gigabit-capable full-fibre broadband to up to five million UK homes and businesses by 2025, meaning entire communities are going to benefit from CityFibre’s networks. This is a huge leap forward for Scotland’s digital capabilities and the company’s plans to create a full-fibre Britain.
As a result of this type of investment, Scotland’s reputation as a leader in the technology sector is on the rise. According to the recent Scotland’s DigitalTechnologies report published by Skills Development Scotland and the Digital Technologies Skills Group, the tech sector is predicted to grow twice as fast as the Scottish economy in its entirety over the next seven years. What’s more, technology is forecast to be the fastest growing sector of Scotland’s economy by 2024.
Better connectivity means Scotland’s digital leaders, which have largely been responsible for putting the country on the digital map, stay put. At the start of this year, Think Analytics, Cloudgine and RaspberryPi joined SkyScanner, CodeBase and Rockstar North as the top Scottish tech businesses to watch, with many more emerging since. In an interconnected world where relocation is an increasingly easy decision for businesses to make and execute, retaining talented businesses has never been so difficult. Full-fibre is the key to giving businesses and their employees everything they need to digitally thrive right here in Scotland.
The continued deployment of full-fibre is intrinsic to Scotland achieving and future-proofing its digital vision and CityFibre is proud to be a key driving force in helping it do so.
Case study: award-winning Graven enjoys bright future thanks to digital investment
For businesses operating in the modern creative world like Glasgow-based Graven, an ultrafast internet connection is paramount.
The award-winning design studio had been struggling with a slow copper connection for more than 10 years when it heard about CityFibre’s Gigabit City network via it’s Glasgow launch partner and internet service provider, HighNet.
One of Graven’s main challenges before was backing-up it’s data. Employees had to complete manual daily back-ups onto a hard-drive for off-site storage because automatic overnight back-ups would regularly fail. It could take up to two days to upload a three-dimensional (3D) visualisation file, and even if this eventually worked, they were often unable to transfer these files to clients. A poor connection was costing Graven precious time and resources.
Since connecting to the Gigabit City network however, Graven has enjoyed the start of a very bright full-fibre future. Notable digital achievements include: a transactional website to start making sales via e-commerce; installing sophisticated video conferencing technology, which has improved it’s ability to collaborate remotely with overseas clients; and it can now back-up it’s whole system in minutes.
Janice Kirkpatrick, creative director at Graven, shared her thoughts on the introduction of full-fibre to it’s business and Glasgow: “We wish we had been able to upgrade our connection 10 years ago as it has restricted our development. It was embarrassing to explain to clients that we were based in the centre of Scotland¹s largest city but had almost no connectivity – I’m not sure they actually believed us. Our full-fibre connection has been truly transformational for our business and we are now able to offer a level of service that’s truly leading-edge.”
To find out more about how full-fibre could transform your business, visit: cityfibre.com/connect