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100Mbps broadband-via-sewer system halted

Fibrecity contractors laid-off during 'restructuring'

Work on the Fibrecity project, designed to give residents of Bournemouth and Dundee 100Mbps broadband via a fibre network in the sewer systems, has stalled.

According to Dundee-based newspaper, The Courier, Fujitsu, which had been contracted to install fibre-optic cables in Dundee, has had to lay-off 52 staff from the project.

It was also thought the contractor was given just seven days to clean up the area they had been working in.

The Courier also said the Fibrecity office in Dundee has been shut down.

The i3 Group, the parent company behind the project, said: "Work on the project has been delayed slightly while the group's UK operation is restructured to bring it in line with the company's overseas subsidiaries. We expect this to take up to four weeks".

"While we regret the confusion that this has caused in the marketplace, this restructuring will increase the efficiency of the organisation and place it in an even stronger position to use its innovative technologies and methodologies to deploy Britain's largest fibre-to-the-home network."

Meanwhile, the Daily Echo claims 140 contractors were last week told not to return to work on the Bournemouth site.

The i3 Group said it is "committed to Fibrecity Bournemouth" but that work has been "delayed slightly while the group's UK operation is restructured to bring it in line with the company's overseas subsidiaries".

"This restructuring will increase the efficiency of the organisation."

Earlier this year, it was revealed that plans to lay the fibre cables in Bournemouth's sewer system had been dumped, following 'contractual problems' with Wessex Waters, which controls Bournemouth's sewerage systems. Instead, i3 said would install its fibre network by digging up pavements and roads.

See also: ISPs offer 100Mbps fibre broadband in Bournemouth

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