UK’s fibre provider CityFibre has recently obtained wayleave permissions to connect more than a million locally owned and housing association homes to their network. Wayleave agreements allow installers to physically link properties to their networks without requiring additional approval from landlords. This move aims to minimize the digital divide, which represents the portion of the population with limited or no access to the internet.
Organizations including Places for People, Thirteen Group, and Sheffield City Council have granted CityFibre permission to hook up over a million premises. In response, Sanjay Sudra, Head of Wayleave Field Services at CityFibre, stated, “World class digital infrastructure is no longer a luxury, it is now an essential utility that everyone needs to have access to.”
He further emphasized the importance of reliable home broadband for managing household services, accessing employment, and maintaining connections with friends and family. By working closely with housing associations and local authorities, CityFibre aims to guarantee more people access to quality services, regardless of whether they rent or own their homes.
Helen Ivison, Utility Infrastructure Manager from Places for People, highlighted the challenges associated with the cost of living and its impact on people’s ability to stay online. She remarked, “We know that fourteen million people in the UK have low digital capability and closing the digital divide won’t be easy. But through partnerships and long-term commitments, like the one we have with CityFibre, we can help to close this gap and support our customers to thrive in our communities.”
Eliminating red-tape barriers for individuals seeking a full fibre contract could certainly contribute to addressing the digital divide. This scenario also benefits CityFibre, as they can expand their network significantly through a single agreement. Consequently, the company may actively pursue more such collaborations in the future.