City region to deliver lightning-fast broadband by 2025

A £30m project to deliver  broadbands speeds to Liverpool city region of 1,000mbps by 2025 was launched on Friday by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram. Tony McDonough reports

LCR Connect
From left, Daren Baythorpe of ITS, Thierry Bodard, NGE, and Cllr Laura Robertson-Collins, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority at the launch of LCR Connect

 

Liverpool City Region Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has launched his £30m LCR Connect joint venture that will deliver broadbands speeds of 1,000mbps by 2025.

LCR Connect is 50%-owned by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, led by Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram, in partnership with North West-based ITS Technology Group.

Mr Rotheram claims the project will offer a £1bn boost to the city region economy. He says the 212km full-fibre network will “help position the city region at the head of the next digital revolution”.

Construction partner NGE is managing the build and roll out of the network which, it os pledged, will offer 100% full-fibre coverage across all six brought – Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley, Halton and St Helens.

Mr Rotheram said: “When I was first elected, I made it a priority to make our region the most digitally connected anywhere in the country. Today we take a major step towards that, with the official launch of LCR Connect.

“Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and this project can put us at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, creating thousands of jobs and ultimately generating £1bn for the local economy.

“It will make us leaders in the industries of tomorrow and will help us attract talent and investment from around the world as others look to take advantage of our skills, infrastructure and expertise.

“Local people and businesses will feel the benefits too – in the form of significantly faster speeds as well as the jobs and training opportunities, although the Government still needs to tackle the problem of digital exclusion.”

Over the next two years, digital infrastructure is being installed underneath carriageways, footpaths and cycle ways across the city region, using deployment techniques to minimise the impact on road and public transport users wherever possible.

Daren Baythorpe, chief executive of ITS Technology Group, added: “LCR Connect is a true collaboration, demonstrating what can be achieved when public and private sectors are focused on the same outcomes, helping to deliver economic, environmental and social benefits.

“This programme will be transformational and we are excited to be playing a central role in its delivery, supporting growth in the digital economy of the region, as well as supporting national targets for full fibre access by 2025.”

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