HIGH-speed fibre broadband is now available to the first homes and businesses in the centre of Bournemouth, BT announced yesterday.

About 12,000 households and firms are joining the high-speed revolution as engineers complete the investment in the coming weeks.

Bournemouth centre follows Southbourne, Westbourne, Winton and Boscombe in having fibre broadband.

The latest upgrade will take the number of premises in Bournemouth able to receive fast broadband to around 74,000.

And the total figure due to climb to more than 83,000 premises next year when Northbourne is upgraded.

Jon Reynolds, BT’s South West regional director, said: “BT’s fibre network is expanding rapidly bringing a boost for local economies wherever it goes. Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers.”

Cllr John Beesley, Bournemouth Council’s leader, said: “Super-fast broadband is an essential building block to economic recovery and growth. It gives our local firms a boost and brings us a competitive edge in attracting new businesses, jobs and investment. Residents will also benefit from being able to do more, better and faster, online.”