INTERNET speeds for Coventry businesses will be on a par with the world’s fastest cities under a major agreement signed this week.
Ultra-fast broadband 100 times faster than the UK average will be available from the summer.
Backers of the scheme that will give Coventry the largest pure fibre network in the UK capable of gigabit speeds – 1,000 megabits per second – claimed it would help bring firms to the city and see those already here become more productive and efficient.
CityFibre signed the deal on Tuesday with the city council to upgrade its fibre network and make it available.
The council installed a fibre network spanning 140km six years ago to service more than 300 key sites including buildings, schools and community centres.
Businesses can register their interest in the network – dubbed Coventry CORE – online in a bid to help City Fibre meet demand.
Chief executive Greg Mesch said: “As a Gigabit City, Coventry will position itself at the heart of the UK economy as the technological revolution continues to gather pace.
“Coventry’s businesses will have a huge digital head start over the competition, at home and abroad.”
Coun Damian Gannon, the council’s finance cabinet member, added: “Coventry can now set itself alongside the most digitally advanced locations around the world and we look forward to the numerous social and economic advantages that such a status will bring – driving economic investment and catalysing business start-ups.”
BACK in October we reported on the incredible claim Coventry’s economy was under performing by £1billion, writes Matt Bates.
The figure came from a council report outlining poor form in the business and retail sectors.
But it also said Coventry had masses of potential, naming three projects that would help improve economic performance.
One of them was Friargate, a scheme to bring businesses to the city that’s well and truly underway at Coventry Train Station.
The second was the need for high-speed broadband. That moment has now arrived.
Backers of Coventry CORE claim it could save firms millions and help them compete internationally – all positive signs for an economy under performing by such a vast amount.
But the third project needed to solve that £1billion problem? It’s City Centre South – a £300m plan to build new shops, a department store, cinema and hotel.
And getting that long-awaited scheme off the ground will need more than a faster internet connection.