An Isle of Wight communications firm has announced plans to create 20 new permanent positions and 120 temporary jobs, with a £35 million investment in its business.
At a conference in Cowes this morning (Wednesday), WightFibre revealed plans to create “Gigabit Island”.
It plans to offer broadband speeds of at least 1,000 megabits. That means that if you are downloading an HD Hollywood blockbuster, it will only take you around 42 seconds, compared to around 20 minutes.
Currently the average business gets between 17 megabits and 76 megabits per second.
WightFibre is the first company in the country to receive investment from the
government’s new Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, which was launched by HM Treasury in July this year.
Wightfibre says its plan also means security for its existing 34 staff.
LISTEN: Isle of Wight Radio’s Jamie White speaks to WightFibre’s John Irvine:
WightFibre’s chief executive officer, John Irvine, said:
“Just 10 years ago few of us could have imagined just how much we would all be using the internet both at home and work. Traditional copper networks have struggled to keep up with demand. The new WightFibre full-fibre network will be capable of handling the islands broadband demands for decades to come, catapulting the island into the front line of the new digital economy”.
James Harraway, Director of Infracapital, commented:
“We are extremely pleased to announce our investment in WightFibre. This is the first investment by Digital Infrastructure Investment Partners, jointly with
Infracapital’s Greenfield strategy, WightFibre has a strong local brand and has a proven capability to deliver good service and fast broadband to homes and businesses on the Isle of Wight, and we look forward to supporting the expansion of its network, to the benefit of customers island-wide”.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Andrew Jones MP said:
“I am delighted that just four months since launching the Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund, we are already seeing investment in full fibre broadband flourish. Today’s investment will help provide people living and working on the Isle of Wight with first-class connectivity fit for the future.
“Working with private investors, we will be awarding providers more than £1
billion to bring this gold standard of broadband to people and businesses in all
corners of the UK.”
Bob Seely, MP for the Isle of Wight, welcomed the announcement,
“This is a huge vote of confidence both in WightFibre and in the ambitious plans for the Island to become a digital hub.”
Such superfast speeds would make us more comparable to the fastest countries in Europe.