A £20.3 million partnership between Leeds City Council and BT will see schools, council, and NHS buildings receive the fibre upgrade
Leeds City Council and BT are set to launch the Leeds Full Fibre Programme, a £20.3 million partnership to bring full fibre to city.
The rollout will begin with the city’s 285 schools, as well as 293 council-run buildings and 156 NHS buildings.
The programme also entails a commitment from BT to help build out the city’s 5G infrastructure. By 2023, they aim to achieve 5G coverage of 70% of Leeds, including 81% of the city’s council houses in an effort to futureproof the community against the ever-growing digital divide.
Ultimately, this plan will transform Leeds into “the largest gigabit and ‘5G capable’ city outside of London,” read a joint statement from BT and Leeds City Council.
“Our world-class full fibre network will establish Leeds as one of the UK’s digital leaders, by bringing ultrafast broadband speeds to people and businesses across the city as well as underpinning the widespread roll out of 5G mobile services,” said Sarah Walker, director, North of England, for BT’s Enterprise unit.
“We are pleased to be providing further support to local residents and businesses through a series of initiatives aimed at equipping those people most in need with the essential digital skills needed to get fit for the future.
This news comes as something of a surprise, since CityFibre already have a significant network already underway in the city as part of a £120 million investment in FTTP and so seemed well positioned to pick up this deal. However, Openreach and Virgin Media also both have a presence in the city, and all three fibre operators were reportedly considered before the contract was ultimately awarded.
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