Superfast Broadband Coming To 97% Of Dorset
1:10pm 10th July 2013
(Updated 2:16pm 10th July 2013)
A £31M deal is set to bring superfast broadband to 97% of homes and businesses in Dorset.
BT's putting in over £12M, over £9M will come from Dorset County Council and the rest of the funding is being put up by the Government.
Superfast broad should be available across most of the county within three and a half years.
According to the regulator Ofcom in November 2012, the average downstream speed in Dorset was 8.7 Mbps whilst 13.9 per cent of premises received less than 2Mbps.
The partnership will also aim to ensure broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps in the minority of places where fibre broadband isn't viable.
Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset County Council, said:
"It's very important this broadband technology is made available to as many residents and businesses as possible. We want everyone in Dorset to have access to reliable and faster broadband within the next three and a half years and I'm delighted by this announcement as it's a major step forward for our county.
"We know that some residents and businesses are frustrated by slow or no broadband access in Dorset, especially in rural areas - it's one of the biggest issues facing our county.
"With the contract now signed, work on the project can get underway. This will give Dorset the competitive edge it needs to attract new businesses and will empower our communities by providing access to services, jobs, education."
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said:
"This is great news for Dorset. Fibre broadband will provide a strong, reliable connection to the rest of the world - opening new horizons, helping us to be more efficient and keeping us in touch with vital services.
"Faster broadband will help local businesses grow, attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy. If they thrive then everyone thrives - local businesses are the lifeblood of every community, creating jobs and stimulating growth."
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said:
"Today's announcement sees Dorset join counties all around the UK already undergoing a fantastic transformation of their broadband services. The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and this project will deliver superfast access to 95 per cent of properties in Dorset, providing a tremendous boost to the Dorset local economy."
James Weld, Superfast Dorset representative from the Local Enterprise Partnership, said:
"Having better, faster broadband will play a major role in strengthening the Dorset business community as well as giving residents greater flexibility to use new technology for learning and entertainment. Improved and faster connectivity will unleash even more of our county's potential."