Communications Minister Ed Vaizey has praised the success of the £31.75 million Superfast Dorset programme as it reached a major ‘first anniversary’ milestone.
Just a year after the programme was first announced, Superfast Dorset has already made the high-speed technology available to more than 8,000 local homes and businesses – and the roll-out is continuing at a rapid pace. The recently announced second phase of the programme will reach another 10,000 Dorset premises by the end of the year in parts of Abbotsbury, Dorchester, Maiden Newton, Martinstown, Preston, Puddletown, Upwey and Warmwell.
Dorset County Council signed a multi-million pound contract with BT last July to provide fibre broadband access to more than 80,000 premises. This, together with the commercial roll-out of fibre broadband by the private sector, will make superfast fibre broadband available to 95 per cent of premises in the county by the end of 2016.
Ed Vaizey said: “This is fantastic news – Dorset has achieved a lot in the year since the rollout began and I’m delighted that already so many homes and businesses are enjoying access to superfast broadband speeds as a result of the programme. We understand how important superfast broadband is, and the widespread access to this “fourth utility” that our rollout will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the Dorset economy. ”Peter Finney, Dorset County Council Environment portfolio holder, said: “This is the most significant investment in infrastructure that Dorset councils, working together, have ever embarked on. Thousands of people can already benefit and the high coverage we will achieve by 2016 will make Dorset even more competitive as a great place to live, work and build businesses.”
Bill Murphy, BT Group’s managing director of next generation access, said: “Superfast Dorset has been making strong progress since it was launched a year ago. The first homes and businesses in the county to benefit from the partnership already have access to this exciting technology. With our recent announcement of the second phase of the programme, many more rural communities will be connected.
“High speed fibre broadband will boost the competitiveness of local businesses as well as providing new learning and entertainment opportunities for households.”
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