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Bournemouth Council calling meeting with Fibrecity over street works
Thursday 20 January 2011 15:41:27 by John Hunt

Bournemouth Borough Council has invited Fibrecity to a meeting on Friday to discuss "serious concerns" with the company's work. Fibrecity Directors will meet with members of the council who are demanding action to repair damage caused by work to install fibre optic cables through the city. The company has code powers so does not need the councils permission to dig up the roads and lay cables but the council is requesting that these be done to a certain standard.

Fibrecity did originally intend to lay cables through the sewer systems owned by Wessex Water, but following a failure to reach agreement with the company, has resorted to micro-trenching, a process of cutting a small trench in the road or pavement into which fibre cables can easily be laid with minimal disruption to road users. Back in October, a four-week delay was announced by Fibrecity of any roll-outs whilst the company went through a re-financing process, with a possibility of management buyout, but as yet, there has been no news on this work restarting.

The council will be raising three main concerns with the company:

  • The quality of remedial work on trenches dug has in some cases not been done to a high enough standard and has had to be re-done. The council is also still waiting further work in some cases.
  • The council were never consulted on the change from using sewers to the trench model using roads and pavements.
  • Fibrecity have yet to advise the council of a date when work will re-commence after the company stopped cabling works in October 2010.

"Whilst a delay in the works resulting in the restructure of the company is understandable it is unacceptable that residents and businesses are kept in the dark on the progress of the project. Fibrecity also need to inform those residents who have signed up to receive the cables where they stand. The growing uncertainty could potentially undermine the project. We are determined to get this situation resolved as quickly as possible in the best interests of the people of Bournemouth."

Peter Charon, Councillor

Hopefully, the meeting will she some light on where Fibrecity will go from here and if they will continue to deploy fibre in Bournemouth and Dundee.


Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Not having the best of times are they?

No you can't go via the sewers and stop making a mess of the pathes or... your finished in this town?
Posted by whatever2 over 6 years ago
Im not convinced they ever started. From the map I have seen, they installed in a tiny area, outside the centre, next to a small industrial estate.

A Fibre City it is not.

Very good at PR and getting press lines, less good at the actual lines that people were interested in.

I think it's about time these start ups were challenged on the detail of their spin by the IT press.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
Meanwhile, a handful of independents with less slick PR machines and with a much simpler network of companies are actually delivering FTTP and VDSL. In a small way, but for real. Meanwhile H2O/i3 are damaging the credibility of the whole industry. ISPA should send the boys round.

Meanwhile i3/H2O's WiMax trial on Anglesey should be well under way by now shouldn't it?

Posted by mabibby over 6 years ago
Anyone sense that the concil feel abit miffed that Fibrecity have the power to just do what they want?

How about the council give some support and aid the situation instead of trying to be objective. If they want a higher standard of work or a specific job doing help the situation.

Fibre through the area is only going to help them in the long run.
Posted by doowles over 6 years ago
I bet they were simply trying to get "something" done before the government started handing out the hundreds of millions of pounds in BBC funds.
Posted by Gamerwillz over 6 years ago
I don't like councils like this. Fibre is the way to go for the future of the Internet, and I just wish this council would allow the company to do its job and maybe give them some support.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
"instead of trying to be objective" - LOL
Posted by whatever2 over 6 years ago
If you saw the mess they had made of people's pathways outside of their house, you'd see that it's not so much about removing support, but ensuring at least an adequate job was done, rather than h20 making a mess then disappearing, with nothing like the project left that they were fanfaring across the net about.
Posted by mike41 over 6 years ago
No problem. The Public Utilities and Street Works Act 2002 (I think) requires any contractor or utility opening a public road or footway to reinstate it to proper standards. Failure to do so is a criminal offence.
Our gas company left many a rutted mess before they were hit with a few really hefty fines. Since then their work has been exemplary.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
They should of seek permission before they jumped on the media bandwagon. Instead of recycling an idea and causing a mess on the roadways, not that I've seen anything happening in the BH9/10 area when I've been down there.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"Our gas company left many a rutted mess before they were hit with a few really hefty fines."

Top marks to whoever made that happen, would be nice to see it done in the many other places where works have been done to a poor standard.

Of course if they structure the companies accordingly, all a few substantial fines will do is bankrupt the company at the top.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Maybe getting the contract with Wessex Water iron clad and in place before basing the entire business model around it would have been wise.

As would getting ISPs on board who could actually sell the product in serious volume.

Getting an automated ordering system for ISPs would have been wise too - it's manual, not a big selling point.

Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Choosing an area with VM in place for years and probably BT FTTC in the future was probably not the brightest.
Posted by krazykizza over 6 years ago
VM is in quite a few areas Somerset, you'll be hard pushed to find a large town to base a project like this without cable in the area. Lets not forget, H20 were offering value added services like CCTV and links to hospitals e.t.c As far as I know, virgin give you the cable and you make your own way from then. H20 also go symmetrical with the upload, something you won't see from VM for a while.
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago
"H20 were offering value added services like CCTV and links to hospitals "

Powerpoint is easy. Delivering less so.

Once a company gets "code powers", what measures are available to withdraw that authority for works to be undertaken without further permission? What next for H2O when that happens?

See also:

21 Jan:

22 Jan:
Posted by c_j_ over 6 years ago

Ernst and Young. Enterpreneur of the Year. Nominees include Richard Tang (Zen Internet). Mentioning it here because Elfed Thomas (i3 Group) is also nominated.

Wonder how E+Y will be judging this one, and indeed what possible basis they have for i3 Group being accepted as nominees without E+Y looking very silly indeed.
Posted by mpellatt over 6 years ago
Re: more councils doing this - back in the late 90's I was a member of Surrey CC. The policy had been to core sample 10% of reinstatements, but the highways guys had figured out that by doing core samples on 100% of reinstatements, not only would the roads be better, but the additional costs would be more than covered by the compo from the utilities. Dunno what came of that, though - seemed a good idea (especially as sub-standard reinstatements have to be spotted within 12 months or the utility is in the clear)
Posted by YaZiN over 6 years ago
@mpellatt - I'm not sure how Surrey CC Streetworks team managed to do 100% core samples. They must have been doing thousands of differing sized core samples and working non-stop to pull that one off.
If telecom companies what to get on the good side of Council Streetworks teams then they should look into getting decent contractors. Without naming names, a certain contractor working for said telecomm is absolutely dire in our local area. Then again, there rivals were putting up a good fight to be just as poor from what my colleague has found on site these last few days.
Posted by YaZiN over 6 years ago
To others here who say Councils should be supporting such companies, ha! There isn't much hope of things going smoothly if the contractors and the works promoters can't rub two sticks together without something going wrong. On top of that, if people have to wait for 5 seconds in traffic due to said works, then all hell breaks loose. There isn't a plan that exists that pleases all people!
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