Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, announced the award of a £30m joint venture contract, following a competitive process.
ITS will lead the consortium of LCRCA and NGE, building and managing the 212km roll out of a full fibre, gigabit-capable network of digital infrastructure, providing access to fast connectivity that will help grow some of the city region’s key growth sectors.
In its initial phase, ITS will create a resilient fibre backhaul network, connecting three transatlantic cables and major economic clusters in each of the Liverpool City Region’s six local authority areas, going on to install the digital infrastructure in carriageways, footpaths and cycle ways over the next two years.
And through its innovative ‘dig once’ approach,laying ducts while existing roadworks take place, and byre-using existing infrastructure, disruption to road and public transport users will be minimised.
The £30m investment is expected to generate £105m for the local economy over 15 years, creating and attracting new jobs, industries, investment and businesses to the region.It is estimated that 100% full fibre coverage across the Liverpool City Region, building on the backhaul network, could be worth £1 billion.
The project supports the national targets to deliver gigabit-capable speeds and fast, reliable broadband across the UK by 2033.
Daren Baythorpe, CEO of ITS Technology Group, said:
“ITS is delighted to be awarded this contract and be part of the team rolling out full fibre across the Liverpool City Region. This programme will have a transformational effect for everyone in the region and we are excited to be playing a central role in its delivery.
“As shareholder partners in the Joint Venture we are proud to be contributing significantly to the tremendous growth in the digital economy of the region, and supporting national targets for full fibre access by 2033.
“The awarding of the contract further confirms ITS’s place as a leading next generation network provider in the UK focused on helping businesses develop in the digital age. ITS with its expert team has a track record in deploying and managing gigabit capable full fibre networks, that help to drive innovation and productivity.”
Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram said:
“When I was elected, I made it a priority to make our region the most digitally connected anywhere in the country. Today we take a major step towards that, with the launch of this exciting partnership.
“Our region was at the heart of the first industrial revolution, and I believe that this project can help us be at the forefront of the fourth industrial revolution, creating thousands of jobs and ultimately generating £1bn for the local economy. It will make us leaders in the industries of tomorrow and will help us attract talent and investment from around the world as others look to take advantage of our skills, infrastructure and expertise.
“Local people and businesses will feel the benefits too – in the form of significantly faster speeds as well as the jobs and training opportunities, although the Government still needs to tackle the problem of digital exclusion.
“And, best of all, it will all be 50% owned by us so we can continue to reap the benefits for years to come.
“As we have done so many times before, this is our region seizing the initiative, leading the way and crafting what I hope will be a lucrative and successful new future that everybody in our region can benefit from.”