THE UK’s largest independent full-fibre broadband provider has formally confirmed a £65 million investment for Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.

CityFibre, which has already started working on a network for the BCP area, has expanded to cover premises that will help approximately 180,000 BCP Council properties get connected to the new network.   

BCP and CityFibre members attended a ceremony in Poole Quay to formally confirm the investment that will be made over the next few years as part of an aim to reach at least eight million premises across the country by 2025. 

CityFibre CEO Greg Mesch said: “We have made fantastic progress rolling out our network, first in Bournemouth, and now rapidly expanding across Christchurch and Poole. This has been achieved through close collaboration with local stakeholders at the council as well as our local build partner, CCN. We’re actually ahead of schedule in our Poole build, so we’re in good shape for this rejuvenation.

“Our core infrastructure is in, which means we can power these communities for the next 100 years. We don’t see any reason to regularly dig up existing roads or change the area’s digital infrastructure and that’s the beauty of installing fibre as it’s pretty much unlimited capacity. It can last forever.

“However, as we scale at pace, it’s important to make sure we help everyone in the area level up at the same time. Gaining wayleaves means we will be able to reach some of the residents who stand to benefit the most from better connectivity.”

CityFibre is the second largest investor of fibre infrastructure in the UK, second to BT. The company says the project will be worth millions in economic benefit to the area and give residents access to the UK’s fastest broadband.

It will also provide the platform for “smart city” technology and 5G mobile.

When asked about local opposition to such plans, Mr Mesch said: “If people just see someone digging up their road, understandably they’ll complain about it. So, what we’ve found is that when we just tell residents exactly what we’re doing, the complaints drop about 80 per cent.

“Then, when word gets out, the complaints turn to inquiries where people want to know if we can install this full-fibre on their street. It’s communication in every sense.”

In attendance for the ceremony was Philip Broadhead, deputy leader of BCP Council, who said: “We are delighted to welcome CityFibre into Poole and Christchurch following its continued rollout in Bournemouth. This investment will give the area a further boost to help the area thrive in a modern digital economy.

“This year has shown just how reliant we are on broadband services, which is why CityFibre’s build is so important.”