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Cambridgeshire to expand and open up fibre network


Mark Say Managing Editor

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Cambridgeshire County Council and the University of Cambridge have created a joint venture company to expand and exploit the county’s digital infrastructure.

Named Light Blue Fibre, it is bringing in technical experts from the university and making both organisations’ duct and fibre networks, totalling over 100km, available on a commercial basis.

It is aiming to attract telecoms companies, infrastructure providers and local technology businesses that are looking to use full fibre networks without heavy investment.

Cambridgeshire’s commercial and investment committee supported the setting up of the company in February, and the joint venture agreement was signed in May.

Both organisations have plans to expand their duct and fibre assets. The council recently approved a policy to include fibre ducting in the construction of all new major roads, footway and cycle paths.

The university owns the Granta Backbone Network that covers a large part of the city and radiates out to strategic locations.

Cutting edge

Professor Ian Leslie, chair of the board for Light Blue Fibre, said: “This is a very exciting joint venture. The development of Light Blue Fibre will make the existing and future ducting and fibre assets of two major networks in Cambridgeshire available for community and commercial use.

“It will provide local businesses, government, health and the education sector with cutting edge digital infrastructure, capable of meeting their data connectivity and communication needs for now and into the future and it gives the university more opportunities for wider connectivity.”

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