BT community scheme brings high-speed broadband to North Dorset village
A partnership between residents in the North Dorset community of Spetisbury and BT is to make high-speed fibre broadband available to a further 84 homes in the village.
Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, will install new fibre optic cabling and a new green road-side cabinet equipped with the latest Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) technology as part of BT’s Community Fibre Partnerships (CFP) programme.
Speeds of up to 80Mbps will be available from a wide range of broadband service providers. Local residents, who are benefitting from funding through a community grant from BT and the Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme, are expected to get the high-speed service by Christmas this year.
The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme provides help for households and businesses with internet speeds of less than 2Mbps not included in any current programme to rollout high-speed fibre broadband. The residents of Spetisbury, which is near Blandford Forum, were awarded £350 per eligible household towards a new fibre broadband network with the remaining being funded via a community grant from BT.
The CFP programme offers grants of up to £20,000 to any community in the final five per cent of the UK not covered by any fibre broadband roll-out plans if the technology will also benefit a local school or similar organisation. BT awarded a grant of more than £3000 for the Spetisbury project because the village school, Spetisbury Church of England Primary School, will benefit from the boost in broadband speeds.
Andrew Kerby, local councillor and Spetisbury resident, who led the local community group to campaign for faster broadband, said: “The Community Fibre Partnerships scheme has been a godsend, it has empowered the village to take control of its own connectivity destiny. It was heartening to come together with fellow residents to gather support and submit our application for a community fibre partnership with BT.
“We are all thoroughly looking forward to the high-speed broadband being implemented. For me though, I'll finally be able to catch up with on-demand-TV.”
Paul Coles, BT’s regional partnership director for the South West, said: “We have been working closely with the people of Spetisbury to agree this funding solution to bring superfast fibre to the local community and its fantastic news that the contract has now been signed and the service will be up and running by December 2017. We’re keen to have conversations with other communities who might be able to benefit from this approach.”
Steve Haines, managing director for Openreach, the local network business which is part of BT Group, said: “Partnerships like this help us to bring high-speed connections to challenging areas that broadband providers struggle to upgrade alone.
“Around 150 communities across the UK can already access high-speed fibre broadband through our co-funded Community Fibre Partnerships scheme. We will ‘never say no’ to any community that wants superfast fibre broadband connectivity and hope that this scheme will encourage even more communities to work with us.”
“It’s great to be able to work with communities like Spetisbury to find a broadband solution.”
For more information on community fibre partnerships with BT, visit www.communityfibre.bt.com