Lanes wins major contract to install super-fast broadband

Lanes Group plc has been awarded construction contracts by CityFibre as part of a £1.5billion investment to roll out full fibre broadband in 27 towns and cities across the UK.

The utility and drainage specialist is one of 15 contractors awarded regional contracts to carry out the work that will provide full fibre broadband to an estimated three million premises.

CityFibre, the UK’s third national digital infrastructure platform, has awarded Lanes contracts to install full fibre broadband in Chatham and Gillingham, Crawley and Horsham, and Eastbourne.

Lanes has developed expertise in broadband fibre installation through its new business, Lanes Infrastructure.

Lanes Infrastructure Managing Director David Roberts said: “We’re delighted CityFibre has selected us to be part of this hugely exciting full fibre broadband installation programme.

“Its importance cannot be overstated. It is vital to the economic success of the UK and our development as a vibrant and connected society. It’s incredibly exciting for all our teams to be part of making that happen in Sussex and Kent.

“Lanes has an unrivalled record in innovative, high performance water utility service and, through Lanes Infrastructure, we’re bringing that new thinking and clear-sighted approach to broadband installation.

“We’ve already committed an initial £8million in investment to support the new contracts which will create new skilled jobs in our business and across our supply chain, something that’s particularly welcomed at this time.”

Lanes has won multiple awards for its work as a wastewater network maintenance partner for water companies, constantly innovating and improving operational effectiveness, sustainability, training and safety, backed by world-leading use of digital technologies.

The company is taking this approach into its work for CityFibre, with a fleet of new low-emission installation vehicles equipped with LED screens to inform communities about what is happening in their areas.

Safety and wellbeing of work teams is a priority, with innovative racking and equipment systems to make their jobs easier and safer, plus heated washrooms and welfare units that support first class hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lanes Infrastructure Telecoms has already started installing full fibre broadband systems in Crawley, West Sussex, observing the industry-leading site safety expected by CityFibre.

The latest contract awards will create more than 3,750 new local network construction jobs, says CityFibre. In total, the company has so far placed contracts worth £2.5billion with 26 build partners, creating an estimated 10,000 jobs, as it rolls our full-fibre broadband to five million premises in 66 towns and cities.

The rapid scaling of CityFibre’s rollout, which began with the launch of the Gigabit City investment programme in 2018, is being supported by Bechtel, one of the world’s leading engineering, construction and project management companies.

Oliver Dowden, Secretary of State for Culture Media and Sport, said: “It is our national mission to connect every corner of the country to lightning fast gigabit speeds and we’re set to spend a record £5billion to achieve this.

“But we cannot do it alone so I welcome CityFibre’s substantial investment to plug millions of homes and businesses into the social and economic benefits of next-generation broadband and create thousands of jobs in the process.”

Greg Mesch, CEO at CityFibre, said: “By awarding these full fibre network construction contracts, we can ensure we have the construction resources we need to get the job done, bringing world-class digital infrastructure a step closer to millions across the UK.

“Each contract represents hundreds of jobs and upskilling opportunities for local people, building the networks Britain needs to survive and to thrive in a digital age.”

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