Hampshire set to reach 95% of premises with high-speed fibre broadband

Hampshire County Council’s commitment to invest in superfast broadband across the county has been reinforced by signing a second contract with BT to make high-speed fibre broadband available to an extra 34,500 properties.

This means that, once work is complete, high speed broadband will be available to 95 per cent of premises in Hampshire, and that at the completion of both phases at least 94,000 additional premises will be able to get the fibre broadband technology.

Phase one – to ensure 90% of premises in Hampshire have access to fibre broadband by the end of 2015 – is well on track, bringing access to a further 59,500 premises not covered by the commercial market. There are now an extra 123 cabinets switched on for fibre broadband as part of this programme, and some 55km of fibre optic cable has been installed so far.

Hampshire County Council is also working hard with District and Borough Councils, developers, BT and other potential suppliers of broadband to make it possible for more new homes, especially on large scale developments, to be able to access superfast broadband from the day they are first sold.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), together with the County Council and other local government partners, invested £10m in the first phase of the programme to reach 90 per cent of premises by the end of 2015. In addition to its commercial investment, BT invested £3.8m. The County Council and DCMS have now made available additional funding totalling £18.4m to extend coverage to at least 95 per cent of premises by mid 2019 or earlier. BT has contributed a further £3.8m towards the cost of installing the new infrastructure.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry Said: “I am delighted that we have been able to push ahead with this significant project and ensure that more people and businesses will have access to superfast broadband services across Hampshire. This is crucial if Hampshire is to prosper, helping people get on with their day to day lives, whether it is running a business from home, doing their homework online, or shopping or banking via the internet; as well as demonstrating that Hampshire is a good place in which to invest.”

Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director of next generation access, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Hampshire County Council to further extend the availability of superfast broadband in the county. These are exciting times for Hampshire.

“BT is committed to making this technology as widely available as possible. It offers huge possibilities for businesses and households whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and entertainment purposes. This project will build upon the success of our own commercial roll-out in the county as well as our existing partnership with Hampshire County Council. In total, we’ve already provided more than 650,000* Hampshire homes and businesses with access to high-speed fibre broadband.”

People using superfast broadband are able to use multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. New superfast broadband services are set to transform the way households use the internet, from sharing of pictures and video, on-line training and research, to enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available on-line.

Engineers for Openreach, BT’s local access network business, are building the new fibre broadband infrastructure. Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to **80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed in certain areas. The new network is available on an open wholesale basis to all internet service providers thereby ensuring that Hampshire households and businesses benefit from competitive pricing and products.

Notes to editors:
*Includes Portsmouth and Southampton
**80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP

About BDUK

Superfast Britain is a UK Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department of 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:
• £780m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017
• £150m to provide high speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities
• £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