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The 105-Mile Fibre Loop Under Manchester You Probably Did't Know About


It's 105 miles long, you are probably only a few feet from it now, and it has been there since 2002.

The installation of fibre optic cables under almost every Manchester street was something nobody who was in the city in the late 1990s can forget: every pavement was up, with trenches being dug and new tarmac patches being laid. Yet today that massive investment is all too often forgotten.

The fibre optic loop, whose installation was at times lead by Nynex, is now run by a business called The Loop — and it could be Manchester real estate's ace card.

The Loop is now investing in the network, meaning the city is in pole position to win data-based operations, a category which has expanded to include almost all business classes, the Manchester Evening News reports.

The UK as a whole has only 2% full fibre coverage, but Greater Manchester is higher. The European market reaches as high as 60% in Spain and Portugal.

Greater Manchester Metro Mayor Andy Burnham has set an ambitious goal for Greater Manchester to become a global digital city region and among the top five in Europe by 2020.

The fibre optic loop is already providing connectivity for data centres, including UKFast which is developing an additional 30K SF after a deal with freeholder Manchester City Council.

Hopes are high but should perhaps be dialled down a little: the Loop loop was largely unused for its first decade. As recently as 2012 efforts to create a consumer serviced based on it floundered, after poor demand.