PLANS to offer full fibre broadband to almost every home and business in Bournemouth could deliver an economic boost running into hundreds of millions of pounds, it is claimed.

CityFibre, in a partnership with Vodafone, is promising much faster internet speeds than are delivered by the commonly used copper cables – up to one gigabit of data per second.

It commissioned economic consultancy Regeneris to report on the impact of the investment over the next 15 years.

Regeneris found home owners and the wider property market could share in a boost of £100million in real terms, as access to reliable high-speed broadband becomes more critical to house buyers.

‘Smart city’ initiatives including home automation, smart energy networks and intelligent transport systems could be worth as much as £43m locally, while digital enhancements in delivering healthcare could be worth £10m.

Full fibre could unlock £30m in productivity and innovation in business, while start-up activity is expected to generate £13m in economic value. Increased flexibility for companies to support flexible working could add £12m.

Full fibre broadband will provide the “backbone” for a rollout of 5G mobile services, and Regeneris said 5G could be worth £171m to the town.

Simon Hooton, director at Regeneris, said: “Full fibre will provide the core infrastructure required to kick start the next generation of digital technology and drive the expansion of smart infrastructure in towns and cities. The result will be a modernised, more productive and innovative UK economy.”

Full fibre broadband offers download speeds 20 times faster and uploads 150 times faster than the average broadband connection.

Bournemouth customers will initially have to sign up with Vodafone, which will enjoy a monopoly “predominantly during the construction phase”, which is likely to be three or four years.

Currently, only six per cent of UK properties have access to full fibre broadband. CityFibre plans to deliver it to five million homes and businesses nationally by 2025.

Lucy Cooper, CityFibre’s city manager for Bournemouth, said: “With a new full fibre network being built beneath its streets, Bournemouth is a forerunner of digital transformation in the UK.

“This report demonstrates that the town is set to enjoy huge economic benefits as a result of this roll-out. This is about more than just broadband, it is about the digital infrastructure set to power our economy for decades to come.”