Dorset Council bids for superfast broadbad

Dorset Council bids for superfast broadbad

Published by George Sharpe at 11:36am 5th September 2019.

AN extra 2,000 businesses in rural Dorset could get superfast broadband if a Dorset Council bid for extra funding is approved.

Councillors heard on Tuesday that there was still places of work in the county where staff had to walk to the end of the road to get a mobile phone signal and anything even remotely fast in terms of an internet connections was still unobtainable.

Government grant money has been offered, through Defra, to pay BT to put in faster connections where the commercial market has been unwilling to act.

Dorset Council approved investment of an under-spend into Superfast Dorset
Dorset Council approved investment of an under-spend into Superfast Dorset

Cabinet members approved the investment of an underspend of £723,000 from the existing Superfast Dorset programme to unlock an additional £5 million of external funding through the rural communities fund.

Said deputy council leader Cllr Peter Wharf: “we would be bonkers not to.”

He said the problem with rural superfast was that the costs multiplied further away from an exchange, so that in some places, a broadband connection could be ten times more expensive than the same service in a town.

Cllr Wharf said that the effect of adding faster connections to rural businesses would help with climate change, reducing the need for people to travel to work and helping those who were already working in the countryside.

Councillors heard that even if the 2,000 connections were reached by extending the existing contract with BT Openreach, there would still be an estimated 8,000 premises across the whole county which needed superfast and for many of them it remained uncertain when they would get a better connection.

By Local Democracy Reporter, Trevor Bevins