‘Whole area could benefit from fast data,’ council says

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt Picture: Sarah Standing (170587-7155C)

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PORTSMOUTH could enjoy ultra-fast broadband speeds within two years if the city’s bid for government cash is successful.

The city council is in the final phase for applying for money from the government.

The News understands the successful applicants will be revealed in a few months.

If Portsmouth is among them, it could see work to install its ‘dark fibre’ network beginning, taking between 18 and 24 months to complete.

The initial effort would link up about 200 council sites across the area, supporting the authority’s vision to create a ‘smart city’.

A specially designed network would be built, which would be separate from existing fibre cable networks.

Council officials say this could provide internet speeds of up to one gigabyte a second.

This would one day play a key role in uniting plans for a smart transport network, full of 80 sensors that would monitor key road junctions and provide data to drivers.

Greg Povey, assistant director contracts, commercial, IT and procurement at the council, said if the installation proves a success, other areas could apply to join the network.

He claimed authorities in Gosport and Fareham could follow Portsmouth’s lead. He said: ‘This could have massive ramifications for the whole surrounding network.

‘Not only will this be fantastic for Portsmouth city, the residents and businesses, but potentially in 24 to 36 months time – if other councils see the success – this could even spread wider than the network.

‘All of a sudden this could become a major thing for the Solent area.’