An exciting new partnership has been launched that aims to make the Royal Borough of Greenwich one of the most digitally connected areas in the country.
A new company, Digital Greenwich Connect Ltd, has been incorporated to design, build, maintain, and commercialise a 21 km full-fibre, gigabit-capable network infrastructure.
The venture was formally launched by Councillor Anthony Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, on 23 February, at an event at Woolwich Works in south-east London.
The new digital highway is a £2m joint venture between DG Cities, an innovation company set up and owned by Greenwich Council, and full-fibre provider ITS Technology Group. Each company has invested £1m into the programme.
This joint venture showcases a new model for a highly connected world, with the ambition to drive a modern, ethical and sustainable regional economy that allows every business and person to connect and thrive.
Digital Greenwich Connect will substantially improve connectivity in the area, at an affordable price, while enabling public service transformation and an improvement in digital skills. This aligns to the Council’s ambitious new corporate strategy: ‘Our Greenwich’.
Innovative new deployment techniques are being used as part of the network, minimising the impact on the environment and on local residents and transport users, utilising existing public infrastructure wherever possible. Internet service providers using the network will be able to offer speeds of 1,000mbps and beyond, providing a highly reliable service for businesses, public services and residents.
Sarah Murray, Director of Local London said “Having provided this venture with over £1m funding from the GLA and supported with guidance on financial and contractual matters, we are delighted to see the launch of this hugely exciting initiative which will support business and service development in this key strategic growth area. Building on this successful launch, our digital connectivity team is working to stimulate digital investment further across the borough and in the wider sub-region.”
Councillor Anthony Okereke said “This is one of a number of innovative steps we are taking to ensure our residents and businesses have access to fast, reliable and affordable digital connectivity and to support the delivery of modern Council services. It underpins our ambition for our communities set out in ‘Our Greenwich’ and reinforces our position as a forward-thinking, innovative council.”
Cllr Okereke, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, at the launch of Digital Greenwich Connect Ltd.
In its initial launch phase, the network will cover a 21km area within Woolwich, with further expansion planned. It will provide a full-fibre, ultrafast, gigabit-capable network infrastructure and will equip businesses, schools, residents and students with access to internet speeds that underpin modern working and modern living.
It is a true area wide, inclusive approach, for residential and business users. It has been designed to ensure that social housing and community centres are included in the strategy, so that those on the front line of providing support and care in the community will not be held back by connectivity issues.
Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS Technology Group said “I’m delighted that we’re launching Digital Greenwich Connect and showing the power of collaboration through the public and private sector. It’s about local government and technology companies working together, deploying the most secure and resilient network in Greater London.
“Fast, reliable connectivity is vital to businesses, attracting investment, supporting innovation and improving services for local residents – particularly as many more people now rely on high-speed broadband to work at home. Partnerships like these can really accelerate access to critical internet and gigabit capable speeds for both businesses and residents, but also give value back to communities.”
Trevor Dorling, Managing Director DG Cities commented “Today is the culmination of many years’ work to ensure that Greenwich has the digital infrastructure that is essential to a modern economy – one that reflects the needs and aspirations of businesses and residents, and supports the delivery of the next generation of public services. We are delighted to be a partner in this joint venture, which brings together DG Cities’ expertise in citywide, people-centred innovation and ITS’s excellent track record in building and managing fibre networks.”
Find out more about Digital Greenwich Connect
Find out more about our digital investment work improving online connectivity in the sub-region.