Fibre broadband

New digital infrastructure unlocks huge potential in Yorkshire

Yorkshire has a thriving economy with highly regarded professional services, digital and manufacturing sectors. The relative low cost of living coupled with fantastic quality of life has encouraged many large brands to locate in the region and many more entrepreneurs to set up here. As businesses across the region are now beginning to utilise new technologies which reduce the importance of geographical location and boost productivity this trend looks set to continue.

However, these new technologies are reliant on having the internet speeds to cope with demand. The good news is that the region already has the answer to this developing issue – the Gigabit City networks launched by CityFibre in Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Doncaster, Huddersfield and Rotherham provide a jump from 20th century copper infrastructure to pure-fibre, gigabit - that’s 1000mbps - speed technology.  This is welcome news to those businesses in the area accustomed to the slow, cumbersome connections experienced over copper.

Although gigabit speed fibre may be new to the UK, it isn’t a revelation to the countless cities across the world already embracing pure-fibre internet connections. In the US, Chattanooga in Tennessee leads the Gigabit revolution. Chattanooga Mayor, Andy Berke, suggested that the city’s new network was a main catalyst for a number of successes. Since its launch in 2009 the city has seen a 3.7% drop in unemployment and population increases in its downtown area are fuelling new leisure and retail businesses.

In Europe, Stockholm became one of the world’s first Gigabit Cities dating as far back as 1994.  Owing to its investment in fibre optic infrastructure, Stockholm has a higher proportion of people working in high-tech companies than any other European country with 18% of the region’s total workforce employed in STEM industries. So far, it has saved the local government over €250m in IT and telecoms services, delivering an estimated €1.8bn return on investment*.

Closer to home, Peterborough, another CityFibre gigabit city, has experienced a major transformation in recent years. In 2015 it sought off competition from Moscow and Dubai to be crowned ‘Smart City of the Year’ – the same year it enjoyed a new record for business start-up rates.

In the past, many cities across the north have been ill-equipped to deal with the new demands on digital infrastructure, but with CityFibre’s launch of pure fibre Gigabit internet speeds the area is well-set to remain at the heart of the British economy for many years to come.

If you are interested in learning more about the Gigabit revolution happening on your doorstep here in Yorkshire, visit

*Source: Fredrik Sand from Stockholm Chamber of Commerce