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Dorset’s one million steps to superfast broadband

Press Release   •   May 20, 2016 13:05 BST

Dorset is on course to take a million steps in its drive to deliver faster broadband for its residents and businesses.

The Superfast Dorset project has already laid 800,000 metres of fibre optic cable and is due to reach a million metres later this year . . . enough to stretch from Land’s End to John o’ Groats.

The project is also about to build its 500th cabinet - the green roadside structures which allow nearby premises to connect to faster broadband.

These milestones mean that nine out of ten Dorset homes and businesses can now access superfast broadband - download speeds of 24Mbs or more.

The latest communities to get new or improved access to fibre broadband thanks to the Superfast Dorset programme include Langton Herring, Boscombe, Christchurch, Milborne St Andrew, Poole, Parkstone , Westbourne, Morcombelake, South Perrott, Chedington and Stalbridge.

Superfast Dorset is working to roll out faster, more reliable broadband to businesses and homes in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole. It is delivering fibre broadband in areas which fall outside the private sector’s commercial roll-out of the high-speed technology. The project is funded by the Government, Dorset’s councils and BT.

Dorset County Council cabinet member for economy and growth, Colin Jamieson, said: “People only get the faster, more reliable service if they contact their provider and ask to switch to fibre.

“Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Dorset’s competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection like providing access to skills and learning and other social connections.”

BT South West regional manager, Paul Coles, said: ““Superfast Dorset continues to make strong progress with the number of local households and businesses able to get faster, more reliable broadband growing every week. Together with our commercial programme, we have already reached more than 350,000 homes and businesses with our fibre network in Dorset - and we are going further. Businesses can use it to sharpen their competitive edge, whilst households are able to benefit from better learning, entertainment and other online activities.”

Fibre broadband recently arrived in rural Stour Provost near Gillingham to the delight of resident James Nalty, who has seen his internet download speed rise from 1.9Mbps to 23Mbps despite living a mile outside the village.

Mr Nalty said: “I was frustrated with the old service and upgraded as soon as it was available. Fibre broadband has actually worked out cheaper than my standard service and I can now get a much better quality picture on BT Sport, which is great as I like to watch the rugby.

“I now get a much better picture on internet and catch-up television and when I video call my daughter and grand-daughters in London I get much better clarity.

“I would definitely recommend switching to fibre broadband. It has exceeded my expectations. I’m delighted and sure anyone else who gets it will be too.”

To check if your home or business can get fibre broadband visit www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast

You can also sign up for regular project updates and receive an email when fibre arrives in your area.

About the Superfast Dorset project

Superfast Dorset is a partnership between BT, the Department of Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS), Dorset County Council, Bournemouth Borough Council, the Borough of Poole, Christchurch Borough Council, East Dorset District Council, North Dorset District Council, Purbeck District Council, West Dorset District Council and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council.

Partner contributions:

DCMS - £11.7m

BT - £13.29m

Dorset councils - £12.3m

Breakdown of local authority allocation:

  • Dorset County Council - £8,633,473
  • West Dorset District Council - £1,487,207
  • Christchurch Borough Council - £100,044
  • East Dorset District Council - £347,434
  • North Dorset District Council - £843,475
  • Purbeck District Council - £437,614
  • Weymouth & Portland Borough Council - £153,093
  • Bournemouth Borough Council - £70,495
  • Poole Borough Council - £227,490
  • The Superfast Dorset project will help to provide:
  • 97% of Dorset premises with access to superfast broadband (at least 24Mbps)
  • Even more premises with access to fibre broadband (this will offer speeds above 2Mbps)
  • 100% of premises with access to greater than 2Mbps, some via other broadband technologies
  • Further information is available from www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast

    About Superfast Britain

    Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, this investment helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and will make Britain more competitive in the global race.

    The portfolio is comprised of three elements:

    1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
    2. £150m to provide high-speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
    3. £150m to improve quality and coverage of mobile phone and basic data network services.

      Administered on behalf of Government by Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), Superfast Britain is transforming Britain by promoting growth, enabling skills and learning, and improving quality of life.

      For further information: https://www.gov.uk/broadband-delivery-uk

    About BT

    BT’s purpose is to use the power of communications to make a better world. It is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in 180 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed-mobile products and services.With effect from 1 April 2016, the group has been reorganised and the customer-facing lines of business are now: Global Services, Business and Public Sector, Consumer, EE, Wholesale and Ventures, and Openreach.

    For the year ended 31 March 2016, BT Group’s reported revenue was £19,042m with reported profit before taxation of £3,029m.

    British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.

    For more information, visit www.btplc.com