Scotland’s finance secretary has welcomed the £270 million rollout of full fibre in Glasgow – the largest city-wide investment in the deployment of the ‘superfast’ broadband anywhere in the UK. 

Kate Forbes visited leading telecoms provider CityFibre’s network construction sites in the Simshill area yesterday.

The scheme forms part of the infrastructure giant’s £4 billion ‘gigabit city investment programme’ which will bring full fibre networks within reach of up to 8 million homes and 800,000 businesses by 2025.

The new, future-proof network will “transform” the lives of millions of people in 285 cities towns and villages across the UK, providing them with a “far faster and more reliable” full fibre broadband service. 

The Glasgow city region rollout spans seven of the local authority areas from Renfrewshire in the west to North and South Lanarkshire in the east and Glasgow City, East Renfrewshire and East and West Dunbartonshire Councils in between.

In total, more than 2,600km of fibre optic infrastructure is being laid in the project, equivalent to the distance from Glasgow to Moscow. 

During Ms Forbes’ visit to Simshill, she was introduced to the advanced technology CityFibre is using to construct its digital infrastructure. Construction operatives and engineers from CityFibre’s team also provided demonstrations of the build process as well as the installation of the network.  

Ms Forbes said: “I welcome the investment CityFibre has made in its full fibre rollout across the Glasgow city region and recognise its impact as a new and ambitious digital infrastructure provider. Commercial developments like these complement our own investment programmes, helping people stay connected and driving forward our economic recovery from the pandemic.   

“Accessing fast and reliable broadband has never been so important. That is why the Scottish Government is making substantial infrastructure investments to ensure all parts of Scotland have equal access to high speed internet. 

“We are determined to use all levers at our disposal to support telecoms operators, taking action where we can to, for instance, change the planning system and extend non-domestic rates relief for a further five years to accelerate investment in digital infrastructure.” 

Greg Mesch, chief executive officer of CityFibre, said: “We’re delighted to affirm CityFibre’s commitment to Glasgow’s Full Fibre future. This represents the single largest investment we are making in any location in the UK and have already made huge headway, rolling out world class digital infrastructure that already digitally empowers communities and businesses across the Glasgow City Region to bounce back from the pandemic.” 

Councillor Susan Aitken, leader of Glasgow City Council, added: “This very significant investment in full fibre broadband in Glasgow will bring economic and social benefits to our people, businesses and organisations.  Digital technology confirmed its importance to so many in terms of their home, work, study and social lives during the pandemic, and the continued rollout in full fibre broadband across the city will also play an important part in Glasgow’s economic and social renewal.” 

Construction is being undertaken by a number of CityFibre’s local build partners, including PMK and Glenevin. Since beginning the wider full fibre network construction last year, the project has created hundreds of jobs with many more expected to be filled over the coming years.  

Broadband services are available over CityFibre’s networks from an increasing range of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) including Vodafone, TalkTalk and Scottish provider Brawband. Other ISPs will be joining the network in the coming months. Residents interested in giving their home broadband a boost can find out more about the build, and services on offer here.