Technology, especially connectivity, is key to driving innovation. This is particularly true when it comes to developing research ideas from universities and turning them into viable, leading-edge businesses. This scale-up process creates a virtuous circle, supporting and growing local economies, creating jobs and attracting new talent to the area.


Introducing Light Blue Fibre

Light Blue Fibre (LBF) has been created to help accelerate this economic growth in Cambridge. A wholly owned joint venture between the University of Cambridge and Cambridgeshire County Council, it makes available both organisations’ existing extensive duct and fibre networks on a commercial basis. That means partners can access over 100km of ducting and dark fibre, in and around Cambridge, with direct connections to university-owned buildings through the University’s Granta Backbone Network (GBN). This includes a variety of locations within the city, from academic departments to university-owned property that is let commercially as office space.


One of the first companies of its kind in the UK, LBF aims to attract telecoms companies, infrastructure providers and technology businesses who understand the importance of full fibre connectivity and are looking to save time and money by reducing the need for expensive and time-consuming infrastructure developments.


Partnering to drive success

As a passive optical network, LBF does not offer services direct to customers. Instead, it works with partners who provide the active equipment required to deliver connectivity. Bridge Fibre is LBF’s first commercial partner, using the network to support some of its landlord and tenant clients inside Cambridge. As well as being based in the city, Bridge Fibre works with landlords of a number of science parks and innovation centres across the Cambridge area, providing their tenants with the connectivity they need to grow. These include St John’s Innovation Centre, buildings on the Cambridge Science Park, Granta Park, Cambridge Innovation Park and the Allia Future Business Centre.

“At Light Blue Fibre we’ve opened up our infrastructure to enable businesses, especially start-ups, to grow,” says Ritchie Carter, Operations Manager, Light Blue Fibre. “Given its focus on multi-tenant commercial properties such as science parks, and strong presence in Cambridge, we immediately looked to work with Bridge Fibre and have built a strong relationship with the company since we launched.”

The benefits for leading edge businesses

The combination of the two companies brings clear advantages for organisations who are operating commercially across the city, whether tenants of academic departments or university-owned buildings.

Start-ups and scale-ups based in university departments, who are unable to use the GBN as the university cannot directly support commercial organisations can access high-speed connectivity, with services designed for their needs and budgets. For example, Bridge Fibre customer Wren Therapeutics, which is based in the University’s Department of Chemistry, now has a cost-effective 1 Gigabit link, giving it access to sufficient bandwidth to underpin its growth.

Tenants of Mantle Business Centre’s Nine Hills Road flexible workspace, where the building is owned by the university, can access high-speed internet connectivity through the combination of Bridge Fibre and Light Blue Fibre.

Together, Bridge Fibre and Light Blue Fibre deliver:

  • Access to a high-capacity, low-latency network that interconnects with Bridge Fibre’s core fibre network
  • An agile service that aims to get businesses connected much faster than other commercial providers. With existing infrastructure already in the ground, there is no need to dig up roads to install fibre or spend time and cost applying for wayleaves to enter buildings.
  • Access to Bridge Fibre’s full range of connectivity, telephony, and hosting services, quickly and easily.

Find out more about Light Blue Fibre here.