This article first appeared in the Manchester Evening News on 20th October
Labour councillors launched petition after complaints about slow internet connections at flats in heart of the city.
Thousands of Manchester city centre residents are to finally get super-speed broadband after a town hall campaign.
Labour councillors launched a petition earlier this year after complaints of slow internet connections in many flats right in the heart of the city.
Around 600 people signed up - asking why Manchester, which sells itself as a top international digital city, lacks fibre optic broadband in its centre.
They complained of ‘terrible’ speeds and argued Manchester is getting left behind. One said it was affecting the value of his apartment.
As a result, the council then wrote to scores of providers asking if they wanted to tap into the market.
Several responded, and one, Hyperoptic, has now agreed to deliver fibre optic to a number of buildings by the end of the year.
One of them is understood to be the Great Northern, off Deansgate.
City centre councillor Kevin Peel, who launched the campaign after complaints from constituents, said:
"I’m delighted that our petition has received such a positive response from the industry.
"The council wrote to over 100 potential providers at our request and I have met with several in recent months to discuss what they could offer, including Hyperoptic.
"I am pleased that Hyperoptic is taking the initiative but I hope they won’t be the only ones.
"I look forward to residents being able to access hyper-fast fibre optic broadband from a range of providers in the coming months."
Manchester Central MP Lucy Powell, who backed the petition, added:
"It is simply unacceptable that you can get better broadband speeds in parts of rural Cumbria than you can in the centre of Manchester."
Once complete, the new connections will allow speeds of 20MB, 100MB or 1GB – the fastest available.
Sharon Maybury, business development manager for Hyperoptic, said:
"Over the past few weeks we’ve been working alongside Manchester city council to discuss how we can bring Hyperoptic’s true fibre infrastructure to as many residents as possible across the city.
"Manchester is a leading creative, business and technology hub and requires a fast, consistent and dependable fibre connection.
"We’re excited to be involved in this project, which will enable residents to future-proof their online lives and enjoy the very best available gigabit speeds."