The Gigabit city

York is at the cutting edge of digital connectivity. After a decade of investment, York is leading the way with the best digital infrastructure in the UK. Interwoven with the city’s historic walls is one of the most extensive dark fibre networks in the UK, linking all public buildings, and accessible to businesses right across the city.

With dense, high fibre-count access in the city centre, and resilient ring architecture reaching key business parks on the outskirts of York, the network route was carefully designed to reach all key business clusters in the city helping to position York as one of the world’s best sites to locate and grow a business dependent on access to high-bandwidth services. A point emphasised by the 2017 House of Commons report on Broadband coverage and speeds which indicates that York’s two parliamentary constituencies had the fastest average download speeds anywhere in the country, with average speeds recorded as 128.9Mbps and 82.4Mbps. The fastest of these being nearly twice that reached by the city rounding out the top 10.

The network is also connected to the northern internet exchange platform, which provides high speed, highly resilient, and secure infrastructure on which to operate business critical internet services. The only exchange operator outside the capital, the network gives York and the North of England complete independence from London.

Already a super connected city, York is now building on this platform to roll out ultra-fast, affordable 1Gbps fibre across the city. Currently available to over 14,000 businesses and homes, Talk Talk and City Fibre are investing further to expand their Ultra Fibre Optic coverage to 40,000 more premises by the end of 2018. Encompassing most homes and businesses in York, transforming York’s digital landscape, making it a truly enviable business destination.

York’s park and ride sites and buses are also switched on to new connectivity possibilities, offering free Wi-Fi to commuters and visitors alike. Additionally, the city centre is now enabled with the world’s first child friendly, free public Wi-Fi for visitors and residents to enjoy ultrafast speeds with no data limitations.

With the infrastructure soon to be fully in place, City of York Council has embarked on a programme of education for local residents and businesses to exploit the technology to its maximum. To tackle a national shortage of workers with coding skills, and meet the surge in demand for talented programmers and developers, York is leading the way with coding events, clubs, classes and workshops regularly being held throughout the city for people of all ages to learn and enjoy.

York is also leading the way on the Smart Cities agenda with ground breaking projects, such as GAMBIT. With partners including Science City York, Bosch, ARUP, Virtual Viewing and Fosse Games the project aims to use real-time data, via a mobile app, to transform the way visitors and residents interact with the business and leisure environment in the historic city centre of York.

The innovation doesn’t stop there. With its main site based at the University of York, The Digital Creativity Labs is a major investment by three UK research councils, four universities, and over 80 collaborative partner organisations. The ambition is to create a world centre of excellence for impact-driven research, focusing on digital games, interactive media and the rich space where they converge.

TalkTalk, alongside its partners Sky and CityFibre, were delighted to choose York as the first UK City in which to deploy our Ultrafast Fibre network. York shares our passion for how digital technology can transform society and impressed us with its clear vision and drive to become the Digital Capital of the North

Dido Harding, Chief Executive Officer, TalkTalk Group plc