Digital Revolution on the South Coast – Bournemouth



With higher education now the most popular choice for those leaving school, the demographics of urban areas across the UK are changing. Bournemouth is no exception to this, and with the Dorset town’s student population standing at just over 16,000, it continues to be a popular choice for university students. Renowned for its idyllic beaches and active nightlife, it is hardly surprising that Bournemouth stands as a popular destination for students and is noted for the rapid expansion of its digital economy.

Firmly a student favourite on the south coast, Bournemouth has expectedly felt the adverse effects of inadequate network connectivity as the town continues its expansion.

As teaching and educational provisions continue their shift over to differing virtual means, the pressure placed on existing network infrastructure becomes huge. Data-intensive leisure activities such as gaming and streaming also add additional demand to network infrastructure, in turn helping to reduce their overall capacity even further. Essentially, growing towns require robust infrastructure to respond to these growing demands.

Challenges preceding Bournemouth’s Fibre City project

Like other urbanised areas with significant student populations, Bournemouth was bound to experience some form of network disruption if its infrastructure hadn’t had been improved. Committed to addressing these challenges, Glide Group, a market-leader in ultrafast broadband connectivity and fibre, took on the task to address this emerging issue and helped to upgrade Bournemouth’s network infrastructure.

Prior to Glide’s involvement, several issues in Bournemouth were identified:

  • Bournemouth’s network infrastructure was no longer effective to adequately respond to the growing network demands of its population. The town required a long-term solution that supported the growth of its increasingly popular educational facilities
  • Beyond ensuring robust connections on campuses themselves, students living in halls of residence and houses of multiple occupancy (HMO’s) also required access to a reliable network, especially in the age of increasingly remote work
  • Bournemouth’s network was not scalable, having the potential to limit digital growth prospects. Glide’s goal was to ensure that it grew alongside customers along the South coast by ensuring that network demands were being continuously met

Meeting the Demands of Our Customers in Bournemouth

Much of Glide’s early work in Bournemouth has been concentrated in the immediate area surrounding the University campus and in purpose built student accommodation (PBSA). With this infrastructure now activated and live, these newly installed network provisions are able to serve any commercial customers within an approximate range of 300 metres.

The benefits of this are two-fold, in the sense that both Bournemouth’s educational and commercial facilities are now able to experience the perks of a reliable, robust network connection.

Since COVID-19, it has been recognised that user traffic has steadily risen by up to 40% from previous years. This becomes a huge strain on all existing networks, particularly if this is happening within a confined space, like within a block of student flats for example. It became crucial that newly installed network infrastructure could be scaled up, and could effectively respond to the rising demands of users.

Glide has successfully installed dark fibre into residential buildings with high student populations, ensuring that a reliable network can be accessed at all times. Resultantly, performance is no longer decided by the behaviours of others operating on the same network, allowing all users to experience the same ultra-fast connectivity at all times. Most importantly, this ensures that Bournemouth’s network infrastructure is further foolproof to continually evolving user demands.

Looking Ahead

Glide’s ongoing effort in Dorset is another part of its commitment to scale up the network infrastructure of urban areas of key educational and commercial influence across the UK. As livelihoods change and user demands continue on an upward trajectory, Glide aims to grow alongside its customers, ensuring that no city or region is limited by inadequate network infrastructure.