- FibreNet is a £1.0M project that will kick-start the transformation of Liverpool’s digital infrastructure, linking strategic sites across the city centre to provide businesses with high speed internet connectivity and a creating ‘digital testbed’ which will permit companies to trial new applications and services.
- The project is backed by the national Technology Strategy Board which has already awarded it funding to the tune of £350K (link to TSB announcement).
- The project is led by AIMES Grid Services with support from 2020 Liverpool, Virgin Media Business and Global Crossing.
- FibreNet utilises the city’s existing infrastructure, including the AIMES highly cost effective and energy efficient data centre at Liverpool Innovation Park, Liverpool City Council’s existing dark fibre network and couples them to national connectivity provided by Virgin Media Business and international connectivity by Global Crossing.
- The project plans to reach to all the city’s major commercial areas, including the business district, the health and technology parks, the Baltic Triangle and Liverpool Science Park – creating an ‘inner city digital ring road’.
- In the first instance, FibreNet will initially provide a 10Gbps network, with up to 1Gbps internet bandwidth, dedicated to the connected companies and enable them to benefit from spreading the costs of “shared services” and make best use of digital products and services from enhanced disaster recovery and business continuity to cloud applications.
- Utilising FibreNet will ensure that these business hubs are able to offer their tenants and clients the most cost effective service.
- FibreNet will connect businesses to new data centre resources at Liverpool Innovation Park and eventually pave the way for the creation of a new internet exchange point, providing access to Tier 1 international carriers and on-bound access to other data centres.
The main benefits of being connected to FibreNet will be that businesses are exposed to immediate and significant cost reduction and business process efficiency improvement opportunities, including:
- Up to 80% reduction in internet bandwidth costs, with speeds up to 1Gbps (symmetrical) – due to direct access to tier 1 service providers.
- Practical (low cost – high speed) access to digital services including data storage, physical and virtual server hosting, managed services and new applications.
- Opportunities for digital content developers, content distributors and content consumers to test new applications and digital services on a large scale – attracting businesses outside Liverpool to the city as a ‘digital destination’.
- Connection to the national digital systems community and IC Tomorrow, the TSB’s digital testing facility which is working with leading content providers, such as the BBC, Sony and Getty Images, to address the problems associated with licensing digital products.
- Final approval for the project was given on 1st January 2011 and the test bed project will go live on 1st July 2011.
- The project partners, led by AIMES Grid Services, are currently looking to engage with local businesses that are interested in the project trials and wanted to be connected to FibreNet.
- Application developers and content providers are being invited to use FibreNet as a testbed for large-scale commercial applications.