Find out how gigabit connectivity has helped cities across the world

Gigabit Internet around the world

Gigabit connectivity is a major technological step up, allowing users to transfer data online at speeds unimaginable just a few years ago. Areas in which gigabit Internet speeds are widely available are typically referred to as ‘Gigabit Cities’, and span across the globe from America to Japan - as well as the UK.

Working with our partners CityFibre, Exa Networks have transformed several major areas into Gigabit Cities - right now those are Bradford, Leeds, Milton Keynes and Northampton (stay tuned for more!). With our first DarkLight gigabit connections starting to go live, we’re taking a look at some of the Gigabit Cities around the world to see how businesses have benefitted from Gigabit speeds being available.

The rise of Gigabit Cities

The idea of a Gigabit City first really attracted attention in 2010, as Chattanooga, Tennessee, became one of the first areas to offer widespread gigabit connections. With venture capital investment in the city increasing from practically zero to $50 million in just 5 years, Chattanooga is a clear success case for gigabit speeds. Tech companies have expanded hugely, with significant investment in IOT development, medical technological research and far more.

Of course, it’s not just startups and tech companies that have benefitted from the introduction of gigabit speeds. Even for businesses which don’t require ultrafast connectivity for day-to-day operation can improve their productivity, performance and security with gigabit speeds.

UK businesses lose around £38 Billion a year due to slow and unreliable Internet - about 38 hours per employee. Properly implemented gigabit Internet can hugely cut down on these issues, ensuring that companies perform more efficiently. Another effect of gigabit speeds is the increased usability of Cloud software and backups.

Cloud-based tools require fast Internet connections, and the introduction of gigabit speeds makes it easier than ever for companies to start engaging with cloud solutions. In particular, the high upload speeds provided by many gigabit connections (our DarkLight connections are symmetrical, for example) ensures that making secure cloud backups is far quicker than before. This lets businesses improve their security, with solid protection against ransomware and many other threats.

Gigabit Cities of the future

Chattanooga isn’t the only city to have invested in gigabit Internet - in the USA along, there’s over 50 cities where ultrafast connectivity is available or soon to be available. Here in the UK, there’s more than 10 Gigabit Cities from Peterborough (the first UK city with gigabit speeds) to our DarkLight cities. Around the world, you’ll find a few more ultrafast areas - several cities in Japan, India, France and more nations offer gigabit speeds, while more and more countries are looking to start providing gigabit speeds.

While the positive effects that gigabit lines brought to Chattanooga are more publicised than those experienced by other Gigabit Cities, that doesn’t mean they’re particularly out of the ordinary. The introduction of gigabit connectivity typically brings in a huge number of new jobs as new companies head to the city and established businesses expand, while GDP sees a significant increase.