Homes and businesses in Stirling will be the next in the UK to benefit from gigabit speed full fibre broadband – with work to begin in the city later this year.

Vodafone and CityFibre have identified the next four towns and cities to benefit from a roll-out of Gigabit-capable infrastructure as part of their plans to reach at least one million homes by 2021. Residents and workers in Stirling are amongst the next in line to have their online experience transformed. CityFibre will invest at least £10 million of private funds in the city-wide roll-out.

A detailed planning and build programme is underway for the city as part of this first phase deployment. The new infrastructure will build on the historic city’s existing Gigabit City network with homes set to benefit for the first time.

Stirling’s existing network currently extends to around 24km, spanning from Bannockburn to the Stirling Agricultural Centre. The copper-free, ultra-fast network connects over 30 Stirling Council sites including schools, libraries, offices and community facilities. As well as providing a future-proof platform for further digital developments, such as connecting mobile masts and smart city applications, the network will provide the foundation for the build out to Stirling homes and businesses announced today.

By using fibre optic cables for every stage of the connection from the customer’s home or business to the Internet, users will be offered a significantly superior and more reliable broadband service, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps). Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring Vodafone Gigafast Broadband to customers in Stirling. Residential and business customers can pre-register for the service from today at www.vodafone.co.uk/broadband/ultrafast.

With the full support of Stirling Council, work on installing a new full fibre infrastructure will begin this year. CityFibre will use modern build techniques to deploy the network quickly, while minimising disruption to residents. Once completed, nearly every home and business in the city will have full fibre access.

Vodafone UK Chief Executive, Nick Jeffery, said: “I’m delighted to welcome everyone living in Stirling to the full fibre club, with a broadband service like no other.  After five months we are well on track with the joint Gigafast broadband programme that will help position the UK as a world leading digital centre.”

Greg Mesch, Chief Executive at CityFibre, said: “Stirling will be among the first cities in the UK to benefit from this game-changing infrastructure programme, which will have a transformative impact on homes and businesses alike. We’re moving closer to our vision of a Gigabit Britain, where digital inadequacy is a thing of the past and full fibre connectivity is the norm. For residents of Stirling, the future is now.”

Stirling Council Leader, Councillor Scott Farmer, said: “This project will be a watershed moment for homes across the city. Fast and reliable access to the internet is a cornerstone of everyday life for business and personal use and the roll out of these plans will help equip Stirling for today and the future. This project underpins Stirling’s ambition to have world class connectivity and is just one of the many ways Stirling Council is transforming the area to make sure it is a place where everyone can thrive.”

Fergus Ewing, Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy and Connectivity, said: “Access to gigabit broadband speeds will help Scottish cities continue to attract and retain innovative technology companies, while benefiting thousands more Scottish homes. I therefore welcome this further investment from CityFibre, which is fantastic news for Stirling, and reaffirms that our approach to R100 is working. It is also a real vote of confidence in the future of Scotland’s digital economy.”