Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has announced that work has begun on a new ultrafast broadband infrastructure for the region.
It said that it recently approved an investment of £6.4 million for the installation of more than 220km of fibre in carriageways, footpaths and cycleways covering six boroughs.
This comes a year after its initial indication of a plan to build a full fibre network as a digital ‘spine’ for the region, connecting facilities such as the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree super computer at Daresbury.
The money, from the authority’s Strategic Investment Fund, will be invested in Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, St Helens and Wirral to lay ducts while existing roadworks take place in an approach known as ‘dig once’, which requires the installation of fibre in the laying of new roads and paths.
It’s anticipated that 30% of the digital network will be installed via this system, minimising disruption to road and public transport users.
Procurement of a joint venture partner to act as co-investor, commercialisation partner and network manager of the future network has already begun.
Forefront of revolution
Mayor Steve Rotheram said: “I want our region to be the most digitally connected area in the country and we’re putting the infrastructure in place now to ensure that we can be at the forefront of the digital revolution moving forward.
“Having ultrafast broadband connectivity will help us to create and attract new jobs, industries and businesses to our region, generating £1bn for the local economy.”
Image by Greg Clarke, CC BY 2.0 through flickr