Our connected lives – Full fibre in practice

By Neil Madle on 27 August, 2020

The digital revolution is coming to Swindon, with CityFibre set to start work on its new full fibre network. City Manager for CityFibre, Neil Madle tells The Business Exchange about the benefits of full fibre in practice.

Neil Madle, City Manager, CityFibre

With Swindon’s full fibre transformation announced last week, I want to talk about the impact gigabit speed connectivity will have on our town and what changes we can expect to see in our daily lives.

According to a report, Swindon could be in for a multi-million-pound windfall. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

The study by economic consultancy Regeneris examined how the economy is likely to benefit from ubiquitous full fibre connectivity, quantifying its impact on the town over 15 years.

Homeowners across the town and the wider property market can expect to reap huge rewards. Up to £83m could be added to the value of local homes, as access to reliable, high speed broadband becomes ever-more critical to buyers.

This is great news, as construction work is due to start in October in locations across the town as part of our £40m investment to expand Swindon’s full fibre digital infrastructure.

With all eyes on Swindon digital transformation, now is a great time to consider the role connectivity plays in our lives and communities and the applications we can expect to enjoy as residents of one of the world’s best-connected towns.

Homelife

Full fibre connectivity is a real enabler for technology; it allows us to do things smarter, faster and more efficiently. We all like to enjoy our favourite shows and movies together, and, with Gigabit-speed connectivity, the latest HD blockbuster can be downloaded in 8.5 minutes instead of six hours. But it is time for us to change the conversation we’re having around technology and think about the great ways we interact with it. 

What about communication? In a Covid impacted world we need to stay connected with friends, family and colleagues living in different towns and even countries, and technology can help us spend quality time with our nearest and dearest at the touch of a button through apps like Skype. 

The Regeneris report also highlights that Smart City initiatives – including home automation technologies, smart energy networks and intelligent transportation systems – could add as much as £67m in benefits locally too.

So let’s think of the Internet of Things (IoT). Wouldn’t it be great to save more time on our daily tasks with smarter homes? Intelligent homes can help us wake up on time, manage our refrigerators to minimise waste, control room temperature and lighting, improve energy efficiency and help us save time, effort and money so we can focus on what matters to us.

Full fibre connectivity brings IoT to life, providing the high-capacity connection required for products to work. I certainly like the idea of having my alarm clock tell my coffee pot to be ready and waiting for me every morning.  

Homeworking finally becomes a reality thanks to full fibre connectivity too. Although we love to talk about the benefits of speed, we know reliability is essential for those working from home. Fibre is significantly more reliable than outdated copper networks. It’s stronger, quicker and less susceptible to weather conditions. What’s more, fibre signals do not degrade or disappear due to electromagnetic interference, meaning your business can still work whilst construction is carried out.

With our daily lives enriched by new technologies and the town’s business community poised to benefit enormously from full fibre connectivity, all eyes are on Swindon – and so they should be – we’ve got a very bright future ahead.

To find out more about the Gigabit City infrastructure in Swindon visit: cityfibre.com/your-street  or follow #gigabitSwindon