The £35m joint Cityfibre and Vodafone project to roll-out a Gigabit speed Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband ISP network in the south coast UK city of Bournemouth (Dorset) has been given a boost with the appointment of a new City Manager, Lucy Cooper, to oversee the effort.
Bournemouth already has a legacy FTTH network via local ISP Gigler, which Cityfibre acquired some years ago following the collapse of the i3 Group’s old Fibrecity scheme. The network is often said to cover 21,000 homes, although Gigler has been in limbo for awhile but the new roll-out should extend well beyond that in order to cover the vast majority of premises.
All of this forms part of the operator’s wider £2.5bn project (details), which aims to deploy “full fibre” broadband infrastructure to cover around 1 million premises by the end of 2021 (phase one – costing c.£500m), before rising to 5 million premises across 37 cities and towns by the end of 2024.
Lucy Cooper said:
“A state-of-the-art digital infrastructure plays a crucial role in growing and protecting the local economy, so I’m delighted to be joining an organisation that is doing everything it can to transform cities across the country.
As a Bournemouth local, I know that there are practical issues with current broadband service that frustrate people on a daily basis, such as the quality of coverage outside the town centre. I am looking forward to working with residents to ensure they are with us every step of the way and understand the difference that full fibre broadband can have now and in the future.
The benefits of full fibre connectivity are huge, particularly to some of the priority sectors within the area – Creative/Digital, Medtech for Healthcare and Advanced Manufacturing/ Engineering. With the full support of Bournemouth Borough Council, work on dramatically extending Bournemouth’s full fibre network is expected to begin later this year.
It’s a great time to be joining CityFibre’s Gigabit City project in Bournemouth. Working alongside the new BCP Council and many other key stakeholders, the town is a great choice to invest in as there’s so much work going on to improve infrastructure and connectivity.”
Lucy has previously worked on the local Broadband Delivery UK (Superfast Dorset) programme and was President of the Poole Chamber of Trade and Commerce until 2014, when she set up the Dorset Growth Hub. She is currently also a board member of Silicon South, a non-profit organisation dedicated to accelerating Dorset’s digital economy.
The roll-out in Bournemouth is expected to begin later this year.