Swindon businesses were given a glimpse of the future at the official launch of the gigabit-capable full fibre network last night (Thursday).
And the future, it turns out, is not that far away. Lead partner Excalibur, which hosted the event, joined the network last week and saw its broadband speeds increase more than tenfold.
Before the switch, said chief executive Peter Boucher, the business was getting a credible 70 mb per second download, and 50 mb/ps upload.
Swindon mayor Junab Ali – in his last official engagement in the role before a new mayor takes office – was asked to click a mouse to give a live demonstration of the new speeds achievable.
Data was sent to and from a server in Bristol, returning results that showed an download speed of 950 mb/ps and an upload speed of 930 mb/ps.
The Gigabit City initiative is being run by CityFibre, the UK’s largest alternative provider of wholesale full fibre infrastructure, with Excalibur as local partner.
Phase I of the rollout sees the service being extended to more than 1,100 local businesses. Industrial estates and business parks at Blagrove, Bridgemead, Cheney Manor, Elgin, Hillmead, Kembrey Park, Rivermead, and Westmead are already within 200m of the network.
Firms at Europa Industrial Estate, Techno Trading Estate and the town centre are also on that list, with companies at South Marston and Windmill Hill joining them soon.
Elsa Chen, CEO of CityFibre’s wholesale business, said many businesses were paying for fibre optic broadband but not achieving the best possible speeds because the final length of connection between cabinet and premises was via copper wire.
Businesses joining the Cityfibre network would enjoy 'full fibre' right into their premises. Peter Boucher confidently predicted the technology was future proof for the next 15, 20 or maybe even 30 years.
“We’re extremely excited to launch our gigabit-speed full fibre network in Swindon with Excalibur as our launch partner," said Elsa Chen.
"This future proof infrastructure is exactly what a modern digital city needs, unlocking world class connectivity speeds of up to 1Gbps that will enable local businesses to succeed productively and profitably.
"They also need the guidance and support of a service provider with the experience to help them take advantage of full fibre, and Excalibur is ideally placed to deliver that.”
Peter Boucher, added: “Swindon’s businesses are crying out for a fast and reliable communications infrastructure on which to build their own competitiveness and success.
"With the launch of full fibre services from CityFibre, we’re excited about taking them on a journey that will improve their efficiency and productivity.”
Phase II of the rollout will see residential premises joining the network. But it's businesses that will benefit first – and the possibilities afforded by gigabit connectivity are broad and numerous.