Wednesfield Library has become one of the first of 170 public sector sites in the City of Wolverhampton to go live on a new gigabit-capable full fibre broadband network.
CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, has rolled out the network after the council secured £4.9million government funding from the Department of Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) Local Full Fibre Network project.
Other city libraries, council sites, schools and Wolverhampton Homes offices will also go live on the network over the coming weeks.
It forms part of the council’s overall Digital Infrastructure Strategy to improve broadband connectivity to enable smart technology and accessibility for all, and improved digital infrastructure complementing electric vehicle growth and sustainable transport.
The new network will help to upgrade the delivery of frontline public sector services, lowering operational costs and boosting productivity.
It will also help meet the growing demand from residents for digital services in public buildings, support the improvement of educational resources, and bridge the digital divide.
Following public consultation, a refreshed Digital Wolverhampton Strategy is due to be discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on March 23.
Councillor Obaida Ahmed, City of Wolverhampton Council Cabinet Member for Digital City, said: “Improving digital connectivity is an important driver of economic growth and will help increase employability in the city.
“It is vital we realise the benefits of this new gigabit-capable full fibre network for residents and public services as we move towards being a smart city.
“Better connectivity in public buildings is essential to ensure residents are digitally included.
“Our libraries are especially committed to giving people access to new and emerging digital technology through the provision of computers, free WiFi and other digital technologies to get online and develop digital skills.”
Bashir Ahmed, City Manager for Wolverhampton at CityFibre, added: “This new network will deliver a much-needed upgrade to critical public sector infrastructure across Wolverhampton and with Wednesfield Library’s full fibre services now live this is an exciting milestone in the project.
“Increasingly, local authorities around the country are realising the potential of full fibre to transform places like Wolverhampton into modern, fully connected, digital cities, whilst addressing economic recovery. By choosing a full fibre network, local authorities will be able to future-proof vital public sector infrastructure for generations to come.”
For more information about LFFN funding visit www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-full-fibre-networks-challenge-fund