CityFibre given permission to connect a million additional premises

CityFibre van

Fibre firm CityFibre has been granted wayleave permissions to hook up over a million homes owned by local authorities and housing associations.

Wayleave agreements grant installers with permission to physically connect a property to the network, and the release says this move means tenants will be able to upgrade their broadband without permission from their landlord.

Organisations such as Places for People, Thirteen Group, and Sheffield City Council have given CityFibre such permissions to hook up over a million premises, and it’s being pitched as a move to address the ‘digital divide’.

“World class digital infrastructure is no longer a luxury, it is now an essential utility that everyone needs to have access to,” said Sanjay Sudra, Head of Wayleave Field Services at CityFibre. “From managing household services and accessing employment, to staying in touch with friends and family, rock solid home broadband has never been more important.

“Working closely with forward thinking housing associations and local authorities, CityFibre is helping to ensure more people have fair and easy access to quality services, whether they own or rent their home. As we celebrate this landmark achievement, we appreciate there is more work to be done to help as many people as possible access to this next generation of connectivity.”

Helen Ivison, Utility Infrastructure Manager from Places for People added: “Having recently carried out digital inclusion research with the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, we understand in detail the challenges that the cost of living has had on people’s ability to remain online. We heard that access to the internet is a lifeline. In a modern society, few can avoid using it and we rely on it for so many day-to-day tasks, even if it’s not everyone’s preferred way to communicate.

“We know that fourteen million people in the UK have low digital capability and closing the digital divide won’t be easy. But through partnerships and long-term commitments, like the one we have with CityFibre, we can help to close this gap and support our customers to thrive in our communities.”

An argument can certainly be made that removing whatever red-tape barriers there could be to someone taking out a full fibre contract could help with the issues associated with the digital divide – meaning a proportion of the population that has limited or no access to the internet. However it’s also a win for CityFibre to be able to expand its network by a decent size via one agreement, and perhaps it will be on the lookout for more such collaborations in the future.

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