Tameside’s Digital Infrastructure Cooperative has formed an alliance with The Loop, Manchester’s largest independent fibre network. This will enable superfast internet speeds, more than three hundred times faster than standard broadband, to businesses and public sector organisations in the borough of Tameside in Greater Manchester including Tameside hospital, health clinics and Tameside college buildings as well large social housing schemes owned by the newly merged Jigsaw housing association (formerly New Charter).
Working with Tameside Council, The Loop will connect to 12 km of ducting along Metrolink tram lines out to Ashton where a further 50km is either complete or under construction.
Hundreds of local businesses could benefit from this collaboration between The Loop including the cluster of digital businesses at the Ashton Old Baths new innovation centre. For the first time, 10 Gig internet services, using a combination of fibre from The Loop’s network and the local authority’s own network, will be widely available through the Coop at affordable costs.
Ashley Griffiths, Managing Director of The Loop said: “We always have had fibre in Manchester, Salford and Trafford so it’s great to extend our reach in Greater Manchester and serve the borough of Tameside. It’s been fantastic to work with such a forward-thinking local authority who shares our vision. This is something that together we have been aspiring to achieve for years, so to reach this point is a major milestone for both Digital Tameside and ourselves. It also aligns perfectly with GMCA’s DCMS LFFN Award (Local Full Fibre Networks) that the Combined Authority won earlier this year to support the role out of fibre to the premises across Greater Manchester. It serves as a shining example of what can be achieved through a more joined up approach to existing digital assets.
“The fibre will not only enable Tameside businesses and major public sector buildings to access next generation internet services, but it will open up connections to our wider network including a significant number of data centres and major media hubs such as MediaCityUK and the new St John’s development. This will allow local firms to work more competitively and stay ahead of the game.”
Cllr Bill Fairfoull, Tameside Council’s deputy leader, said: “This is the type of technological change and investment that is making our businesses competitive in the 21st century economy. It demonstrates Tameside Council’s commitment to creating an environment that will attract more and more hi-tech companies into the borough.
“Almost half of our businesses and properties will be close to a connection working through the new state of the art data centre being built as part of the phase II redevelopment of the Victorian former swimming baths in Ashton-under-Lyne.
“Tameside will soon have unrivalled fibre coverage, and internet connectivity speeds that are among the fastest in the country. Through our innovate Digital Cooperative our companies and residents can look forward to a win-win situation where they will have greater choice and lower prices.”
The Loop has more than 170 km of dark fibre under the streets of Manchester and offers connectivity to all of Manchester’s leading datacentres and also links Manchester’s main commercial districts including Manchester city centre, the Northern Quarter, Manchester Science Park and MediaCityUK. It also connects to some key buildings including Manchester Central Library, The Sharp Project, and Space Studios.