Work to roll out ‘gigafast’ internet across Portsmouth expected to last four years


City Fibre carrying out work in Fawcett Road in Southsea on July 13, 2020. Picture: Ben Fishwick

Fibre network provider City Fibre has confirmed it is expected the rollout of a new infrastructure in Portsmouth to provide high speed internet will last until 2024.

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‘Digital future’ awaits Portsmouth with the rollout of new internet infrastructure

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Works being carried out in Albert Road by City Fibre in May

However, City Fibre’s city manager for Portsmouth, Lucy Cooper, explained that a variety of steps were being taken to keep the impact of the work to a minimum.

She said: ‘We are very mindful there will always be some short-term disruption but the long term benefits will be fruitful.

‘Before we work in an area we letter drop the nearby homes and advertise it digitally on our website and on social media. In usual circumstances we would door-knock to tell people what’s going on but that is not appropriate during the pandemic.

‘The maximum amount of time we would be outside someone’s home is three days to keep the disruption to a minimum.

‘And we are working in partnership with the city council and the contractors Colas so where we can we “piggyback” on other works being carried out – using existing chambers and poles – to again minimise disruption.’

The fibre internet being introduced to the city will be capable of gigabit speeds – or 1,000 megabits per second – making it 10 times faster than standard internet.

Portsmouth was selected as one of three south coast locations – as well as Bournemouth and Worthing – for private investment for the rollout by City Fibre.

It is planned public engagement events about the rollout will take place in Portsmouth once it is considered safe to do so.

Ms Cooper added: ‘Lockdown has shown just how important high speed internet is. With gigafast speeds you can have someone in the house on a virtual meeting, someone else playing online games and someone else watching a streaming service and you won’t get the buffering.

‘We expect the rollout will create the need for 10,000 jobs which we will look for within Portsmouth.

‘And we are a patron for Shaping Portsmouth which looks to support local businesses.’

Providing full fibre internet is a government initiative, and so far 15 per cent of the UK has fibre coverage.

Residents can get more information on the build process at cityfibre.com/your-street.com. They can also email Ms Cooper directly if they have an concerns via lucy.cooper@cityfibre.com.

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