Fibre ducting is being integrated during the construction of new bus and cycle ways in Cambridgeshire as part of the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme’s ‘Dig Once’ policy.
The fibre ducting is being made available on a commercial basis via Light Blue Fibre, a joint venture with the University of Cambridge to encourage fibre providers to extend to businesses and communities that would not otherwise have access.
Over 21 km of fibre ducting has been installed or is planned during the construction of new road, bus and cycleway schemes across Cambridgeshire by 2025.
According to the Highways England calculator, the ‘Dig Once’ policy is estimated to have brought carbon savings of over 20 tonnes CO2e emissions over two years.
Cambridgeshire County Councillor and Greater Cambridge Partnership Executive Board Member, Elisa Meschini said: “We welcome this innovative approach, which shows the benefits of working collaboratively to improve residents’ quality of life and the environment by bringing access to the latest digital connectivity, making it easier to travel sustainably and saving carbon.”
Gigaclear is leveraging this scheme in Linton Greenway, extending its rollout along an 11 km stretch without having to retrofit ducting in the road.
The altnet is using the ducting to install fibre broadband to reach more than 2,000 homes and businesses that might not have had access otherwise.
Gigaclear Project Manager Gary Darvill said: “By entering into a commercial agreement to use this ducting, we’ve managed to provide the connectivity to these areas without the disruption of major civil engineering works and we’ll be able to give property owners in Great Abington and Linton full fibre broadband access far quicker than would otherwise have been the case.”