Bournemouth braced for first Fibrecity homes

100Mbps surf at the seaside

100Mbps surf at the seaside

The first clutch of homes to be connected to the 100Mbps Fibrecity network currently being built in Bournemouth will be hooked up by the end of March.

The superfast seaside broadband network is being built by sewer fibre-laying company H2O Networks, and is wholly funded by private equity investment.

The first 30 homes to get fibre are located in postcode areas BH10 and BH11, with approximately 40 per cent of the 12,000 homes in the area having opted in to the network so far.

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Across Bournemouth as a whole the opt-in rate is lower - around 20 per cent of its 85,000 homes - which according to a Fibrecity spokeswoman could be as result of a greater marketing effort to homes in the first rollout areas.

Work officially started last October on the Bournemouth network and is due to be completed "towards the end of 2010", the spokeswoman said. Once complete, Bournemouth will be able to boast the largest fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment in the UK, according to H2O.

Third party service providers, such as ISPs, have not yet been revealed but the Fibrecity spokeswoman told an announcement is "very imminent".

Bournemouth won the race to become the UK's first FibreCity back in May, beating off competition from Dundee and Northampton.

H2O is also building a fibre network in Dundee - with work due to start on the first Scottish Fibrecity this year.

Cable broadband provider Virgin Media recently launched a 50Mbps broadband service which, while not a true FTTH deployment, is currently the fastest consumer broadband service in the UK. Virgin aims to have the service available to all its 12 million customers by the end of this summer. Meanwhile telco BT has also unveiled fibre-based plans, announcing a £1.5bn investment to bring fibre to 10 million UK homes by 2012.