Historic Dorset village leads the Superfast Dorset revolution

A tiny Dorset village with a special place in British history is leading the superfast fibre broadband revolution. Tolpuddle is one of the first communities in the county to use a new type of all-in-one fibre broadband cabinet.

Historic Dorset village leads the Superfast Dorset revolution

Multi million pound partnership is more than 75 per cent towards its goal of reaching 90,000 homes and businesses by end of 2017

A tiny Dorset village with a special place in British history is leading the superfast fibre broadband revolution. Tolpuddle is one of the first communities in the county to use a new type of all-in-one fibre broadband cabinet. Meanwhile, the Superfast Dorset partnership has now made fibre broadband available to almost 70,000 Dorset households and businesses – over three quarters of the way towards achieving its goal of reaching 90,000 Dorset premises by the end of 2017.

In 1834, the injustice done to the Tolpuddle Martyrs became a national cause because of a revolution in mass communication. Now superfast broadband speeds at the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum will mean their story reaches even more people.

Tom de Wit, manager of the museum, said: “The martyrs were tried at Dorchester assize, which had the first press bench in the country, and the trial received a huge amount of press attention. The resulting mass campaign to free them changed this country forever. Their story is still just as relevant today, so it is fitting that Tolpuddle is once again at the leading edge of a new revolution in communications technology.

“We are truly excited about superfast broadband speeds, which will help the Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum to engage fully with people in all sorts of ways, such as the new Tolpuddle Martyrs app. The app brings the martyr’s story to life through an interactive village trail on iPads and Smartphones. This will allow the martyrs and their journey to remain at the centre of debate and discussion.”

Usually, two cabinets are needed to bring fibre broadband to an area – the existing roadside cabinet and a new one for the fibre technology. The new all-in-one cabinet, outside the museum, combines all the technology of both cabinets in one structure, providing households and businesses in the village with download speeds of up to 80 megabits per second (Mbps) and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps*.

Local county councillor Andy Canning said: "I am really pleased that the residents of this beautiful historic village are getting access to superfast broadband. Our thanks go to the technical team that has made this happen."

Paul Coles, BT’s regional manager for the South West of England, said: “The fact that superfast broadband is now widely available in a small village, such as Tolpuddle, demonstrates the success of the Superfast Dorset partnership in rolling out this exciting technology to some of the most rural locations. When the work of the partnership is included with BT’s commercial fibre broadband programme, it means that the technology is already available to more than 320,000 Dorset homes and businesses. The Superfast Dorset rollout is a huge engineering undertaking, which is making strong progress. It is transforming the lives of local residents and the opportunities for local businesses. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

The number of households and businesses in the county which can get faster, more reliable broadband as a result of the project is growing every week. To check if you can get it, visit www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast, where you can also sign up for regular updates and an email when fibre is available in your postcode. Speeds don’t improve automatically, you need to contact your service provider to order a fibre service.


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.

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.