Vodafone and CityFibre have announced plans for multimillion-pound digital investments exceeding £170 million in Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea.

The move is part of the companies’ plans to bring full fibre broadband to one million UK homes and businesses by 2021.

They bring the total number of towns and cities confirmed to receive full fibre deployments to 10, representing over £465 million of committed infrastructure investment in the programme by CityFibre to date.

With full fibre broadband, users can enjoy a "significantly superior" and more reliable online experience, with download speeds 20 times faster than the average fixed broadband connection in the UK.

"Our roll-out is gathering pace," said CityFibre chief executive Greg Mesch.

"We have made investment commitments that will transform the digital capabilities of ten towns and cities forever. 

"The full fibre age is taking hold across the UK and CityFibre is leading the charge. Britain should prepare for a copper-to-fibre switchover as this aging technology cannot keep up with the UK's connectivity needs."

Nick Jeffery, CEO of Vodafone UK, said overhauling the nation’s broadband is "a vital undertaking".

"By bringing the benefits of full fibre to more and more cities and towns, from Stirling to Southend-on-Sea, one million homes across the country can benefit from this world-class technology," he added. 

Detailed city-wide planning is already underway in Cambridge, Leeds and Southend-on-Sea, and CityFibre is working closely with each local authority to co-ordinate the build and maximise the benefits of full fibre. 

Construction has already begun in Milton Keynes, Peterborough and Aberdeen, with work set to start in Edinburgh, Stirling, Coventry and Huddersfield before the end of this year.