Global smart city leaders show what Portsmouth can gain from full fibre

Across the world, data and technology is being harnessed to solve some of the biggest challenges of city life – from traffic and pollution, to overpopulation and public safety. As our towns and cities get smarter, they become more responsive, easier to navigate and ultimately, more enjoyable places to work and live in.

For the UK to deliver on its smart potential, we need nationwide reliable, high-speed, high-capacity digital connectivity. Full fibre infrastructure is the only technology that can truly meet these demands and that’s one of the reasons why we’re bringing these lightning fast connection speeds to Portsmouth and many other towns and cities across Britain.

Overseas, a commitment to strong digital infrastructure is already reaping dividends – take
Singapore, for example, the first fully fibre broadband market worldwide. Driven by fast, reliable connectivity at home and in hospitals, the city state is making strides in telehealth, implementing a system with community care partners and a rising number of institutions that enables immediate consultation via video-link. Other projects are empowering individuals to manage their health more independently through wearable sensors and remote monitoring by therapists.

Now consider the UK, where we too have started to embrace the benefits of remote care. With the right enabling digital infrastructure, as with Singapore, we could see a complete reimagining of health and care services in communities like Portsmouth.

Slightly closer to home in Europe, the Netherlands ranks highly for fixed broadband and its capital, Amsterdam, has been recognised as one of the front-runners for smart transport. This includes projects on its iconic canals, including a large-scale research programme called Roboat, which employs autonomous vessels for waste collection, transporting tourists and even delivering fresh produce from nearby farms.

The Roboat programme reduces pressure on the busy city centre and gathers data on water quality and flows via sensors, which can be used to inform urban water management. For our seaside towns and the 2,200 miles of canals across the UK, this unique approach to utilising the city’s waterways demonstrates the creative ways we can make the most of our urban spaces, reduce congestion and gain rich insights into water, air and building quality.

With UK cities, including Edinburgh, ranking among the top 50 most congested cities in the world, sensor-assisted traffic systems, supported by a full fibre network, will see our cities become much more liveable and traversable, reducing the UK’s carbon footprint in the process. We can take a cue from Denmark’s capital of Copenhagen, which is installing technology-enhanced traffic signals to achieve its vision of 75% of all trips in the city being by bike, public transport or on foot by 2025.

Opportunities like these are a key reason why at CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, we’re investing so heavily in rolling out full fibre in Portsmouth with an aim to bring this level of connectivity within reach of up to eight million homes across the nation.

With cities already adapting to better manage COVID-19 and the UK Government making nationwide deployment of full fibre by 2025 a key target, there has never been a better moment to pursue positive change and find opportunities to enhance our cities collaboratively. This critical initiative will underpin Britain’s long-term recovery, level-up the economy and ultimately make cities and towns including Portsmouth even better places to live and work now and in the future.

To find out more about the work that CityFibre is doing in Portsmouth to provide full fibre, please go to