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Superfast Dorset Announces Near Two Thirds Completion of Fibre Broadband Rollout

Press Release   •   Aug 12, 2015 10:53 BST

August 12, 2015

Superfast Dorset announces near two thirds completion of fibre broadband rollout

Take up of fibre broadband by local households and businesses has exceeded 60 per cent in some areas

Digital Economy Minister pays tribute to Dorset success

Superfast Dorset announced today that its rollout of fibre broadband is now almost two-thirds complete, with more than 55,000 households and businesses able to access high-speed broadband for the first time. The programme is targeted to make the technology available to 90,000 properties by the end of 2017.

The announcement comes on the same day as Government has announced the nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now passed more than three million UK homes and businesses. The rollout is on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017 and is now reaching around 5,000 additional premises every day.

Availability of the technology is increasing rapidly throughout Dorset’s rural areas with Cattistock, Holt, Iwerne Minster, Langton Matravers and Yetminster some of the newest communities to get connected. Coverage in Dorset’s towns is also expanding as the programme builds on the work of the private sector’s rollout of high-speed broadband.

Many residents are already making the most of better broadband. Nearly 14 per cent of those with access to fibre broadband as a result of Superfast Dorset have already ordered a new service.

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey today paid tribute to the Superfast Dorset programme. "We are transforming the digital landscape of the UK and our nationwide rollout of superfast broadband has now reached an additional three million UK homes and businesses,” he said. “I congratulate Superfast Dorset on having reached more than 55,000 properties in Dorset so far — they’re making incredible progress."

If there is higher than expected take up of the technology by local households and businesses, then BT will make more funding available to allow Superfast Dorset to rollout fibre broadband even further.

Among the locations where take up is particularly high is the hamlet of Mannington where nearly 60 per cent of people have chosen to connect to fibre broadband.

Many residents in the hamlet have seen broadband speeds increase from less than 1Mbps to up to 80Mbps* since fibre broadband went ‘live’ in the hamlet last year.

Mannington resident David Baker, a volunteer ‘local link’ for the project, talked to his neighbours about the benefits a better connection brings and how to sign up for a fibre broadband service.

Mr Baker said the key to higher take up is a personal recommendation from a neighbour. “It’s a question of telling people it’s there and helping them understand the technology and its benefits,” he said. “People are really happy with it now.

“For us, it was get either get fibre broadband or get nothing at all. I couldn’t get broadband on a phone line at all. I was using a dongle and the signal was not reliable. The extra speed and reliability is making a real difference.”

Nearby, at the Woolsbridge Industrial Estate in Three Legged Cross, close to 67 per cent of businesses are making the most of faster broadband.

Dorset County Council leader, Robert Gould, said: “Seeing Superfast Dorset reach this important milestone gives me great confidence in the programme, and we need to drive take up to make sure people benefit. High take up in Woolsbridge and other business estates is a promising trend that we hope will continue throughout Dorset. The aim of this project is to drive economic growth, and when we see businesses switching to fibre we know that they will make efficiencies and improvements that will boost their bottom line.”

Paul Coles, BT regional manager for the South West said: “Today marks important milestones, both locally and nationally, for the superfast broadband revolution. This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across Dorset and the UK as a whole.

“BT’s multi billion pound investment in superfast broadband through its involvement in partnerships, such as Superfast Dorset, and its own commercial programme has already made fibre broadband available to more than 310,000 households and businesses in Dorset– and the number is continuing to grow rapidly. Our engineers are rolling out the technology at a world class pace, reaching thousands more premises across the region every week.

“Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

*Speeds quoted are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network division Openreach to all broadband service providers; speeds offered by service providers to customers may vary.

Enquiries about this news release should be made to:

  • Penny Syddall on 01305 225065
  • For BT enquiries, contact 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at our web site: http://www.bt.com/newscentre

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, including additional funding for the Marshwood Vale, the second contract, announced in June 2015 and Dorset councils’ contribution to ensure the benefits of the infrastructure are realised:

DCMS - £11.7 m

BT - £13.29 m

Dorset councils - £12.3 m

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

Further information is available from www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast.

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 more than 170 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. BT consists principally of five customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, BT Wholesale and Openreach.

For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979mwith reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.

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.