Fibrecity was originally an ambitious plan to provide fibre based broadband to consumers throughout Bournemouth, with Dundee being added as a second city in the last year. The scheme has been running for over two years, and has now passed some 50,000 homes in the Bournemouth area. Back on October 2010, some worrying news appeared about a company re-organisation, and the four weeks passed with relative silence, until a recent Bournemouth Echo newspaper article indicating that work in Bournemouth will resume in the New Year.
Alas in Bournemouth this roll-out has become a traditional cable style build with micro-trenches after an agreement to use the sewers could not be arrived at with the local water company. At this time the agreement to use the sewers still appears to be in place in Dundee.
Homeowners in the Bournemouth area have had a choice of a number of broadband providers offering broadband over the system, starting at £10 a month. No one appears to be mentioning the number of people who have actually signed up to a service, the inference would be that it is a relatively low number due to the firm's desire to concentrate on connecting those homes the network has already passed.
ISPreview obtained a short statement from the firm. One issue in terms of take-up for the service is that with Virgin Media in the area, there is already the choice of a 50Meg product (100Meg on its way from Virgin) and a myriad of TV channels, and even standard ADSL/ADSL2+ speeds in the Bournemouth area look relatively reasonable.
If Fibrecity is waiting on changes to duct sharing rules, giving it access to BT infrastructure, then that may well prove to be a folly, simply because Openreach is rolling out its FTTC/P products at such a rate that unless any nascent pure fibre competitors get a foothold now they are unlikely to succeed in the larger towns. Perhaps the future is for the new infrastructure providers to target areas with no prospect of better speeds for three or so years, where they may find people willing to pay £200 or so towards installation.