Fujitsu signs Fibrecity deal to aid Dundee rollout

Dundee's 100Mbps broadband network gets the green light as Fibrecity Group signs a multi-million pound deal with Fujitsu start on the planned fibre-to-the-home network

Fujitsu Telecommunications Europe is to work with Fibrecity on the roll out of 100Mbps fibre-to-the-home broadband to 68,000 Dundee residences.

On Monday, i3 — the company behind the Fibrecity broadband network — announced that it had signed a multi-million pound contract with Fujitsu to commence work on the Dundee rollout and future projects. The company did not disclose the specific amount of the contract.

By 2012, every home and business in Dundee should have access to the Fibrecity network.

Fibrecity has already built a super-fast network in Bournemouth and signed-up ISPs including Velocity1, Fibreband and Vispa. Dundee users can expect Fibreband and Velocity1 to be involved in Dundee as well, according to i3's group marketing director David Burnand.

Fujitsu will deploy i3's preferred technologies — microtrenching, sewer-cabling and the use of the GPON (gigabit passive optical network) units — during the rollout, said Burnand, and the collaboration is "a first step on moving towards that national [fibre-to-the-home] capability". According to i3, the use of these technologies allows it to lay fibre optic cables quicker and more cost-effectively than traditional civil works.

The Dundee project is part of Fibrecity's goal of serving fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband to a million UK consumers over the next four years, with plans in the pipeline to expand coverage to Derby, Halton (Cheshire), Nottingham, Plymouth and York over the next 10 months.

Fibrecity is currently considering new deployments in Belfast, Aberdeen, Ipswich, Bristol and Birmingham, but a decision is not expected imminently. "At this stage I wouldn't be able to give you the name of the next Fibrecity; we're looking at a range of sites. We'd expect to make a decision and an announcement on the next city towards September," said Burnand.

Multiple schemes for FTTH deployments are in place across the country, with BT recently announcing fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) trials for homes and businesses in London, Milton Keynes and York.

In 2009, Fibrecity had plans to expand to Dundee, with work due to start towards the end of the year. Quizzed on the delay, Burnand replied that i3 has "learned a huge amount from our work on Fibrecity Bournemouth, and we wanted to make sure we were doing this absolutely correctly and working with Dundee council and other stakeholders to make sure we can do the rollout as efficiently as possible".

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