Portsmouth wins £4m funding to launch ultrafast fibre broadband

Donna Jones
Donna Jones
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NEARLY £4m has been handed to the city council in a bid to bring in fibre broadband.

Portsmouth City Council will spend the cash, announced in the spring statement by chancellor Philip Hammond, on establishing a high-speed network across its sites.

City leaders hope the investment will bring in an extra £50m of private investment.

Buildings, housing offices and libraries across the city will be connected using the full fibre technology.

Councillor Donna Jones, Leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘This is a real game changer for Portsmouth, establishing this network will put Portsmouth at the top of the list for businesses around the world who are looking for a UK location. We are doing this to create new jobs in the city, improve opportunities for residents and significantly boost Portsmouth’s economy.

‘The money will allow the council to put a new full fibre network in place and that gives the potential for a provider to build on this to benefit businesses and residents.

‘Soft market testing suggests we can expect companies to be prepared to invest in the region of £50m to expand the network.’

The deal is a part of the first wave of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s £190m Local Full Fibre Network Challenge Fund programme.

Procurement to find a firm to build the network will take six to nine months, with installation to take 18-24 months.