Scotland’s Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands has seen Stirling’s digital revolution in the making, as the first households prepare to connect to CityFibre’s full fibre broadband network this April.

Work is continuing on CityFibre’s £10m city-wide full fibre network upgrade, which is set to bring the fastest, most reliable gigabit-speed broadband to almost every home and business in Stirling and Bridge of Allan.

Last week Paul Wheelhouse MSP got a closer look at the network deployment during a guided visit by CityFibre representatives to the Braehead area of Stirling. During his visit, he announced that all newly laid fibre in Scotland will soon receive non-domestic rates relief to encourage further digital-enabled economic growth.

Paul Wheelhouse, Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, said: “Full fibre investment projects like CityFibre’s in Stirling complement the Scottish Government’s target of ensuring access to a minimum of superfast broadband for each and every premises in Scotland.

“Infrastructure and connectivity are fundamental to creating digitally-enabled growth in our economy. I am delighted to announce that from 1 April we will provide non-domestic rates relief on all newly laid fibre. This significant investment will help create long-term skilled jobs and make Scotland the best place to invest in digital infrastructure in the UK.”

CityFibre’s multi-million-pound project is seeing it extend its full fibre network to reach nearly every premises across Stirling and Bridge of Allan. Residents and businesses in the area will be amongst the first in the UK to receive 1,000Mbps speeds when services go live in April. CityFibre and Vodafone are committed to reaching one million UK homes, by 2021.

Full fibre will help to unlock millions in economic potential for Stirling’s community. Recent independent research by economic consultancy Regeneris has shown that, over a 15-year period, full fibre could add £11m to the city’s property value as well as boost business productivity and innovation by £14m and benefit start-up growth by £8m.

Engineering works, delivered by PMK Civil Engineering, are continuing in Cambusbarron, Bannockburn and Broomridge with Braehead set to follow. The overall project is due to complete in 2020, with local businesses and residents being kept up-to-date on plans throughout.

Elaine Doherty, CityFibre’s City Development Manager for Stirling, said: “Stirling has historically been known as Scotland’s “gateway” and the full fibre network we are building will be the gateway to an exciting future underpinned by state-of-the-art digital connectivity.

“There is huge enthusiasm across the region for full fibre connectivity and our roll-out is gaining momentum as we enter more and more areas. We are incredibly excited to be able to connect the first households to full fibre next month and it was a pleasure to welcome Paul Wheelhouse to get a closer look at the work we are doing.”

Full fibre connectivity will enable people across the city to receive superior and more reliable broadband services, capable of Gigabit speeds (1,000 Mbps). Vodafone will use CityFibre’s network to bring ‘Gigafast Broadband’ to customers, delivering affordable fibre connections direct to homes and businesses.