Isle of Wight rural fibre broadband project hits 12,000 premises milestone
More than 12,000 homes and businesses in mainly rural areas of the Isle of Wight now have access to faster broadband speeds as a result of the Island’s rural fibre broadband project. And new fibre broadband cabinets are continuing to be installed in locations across the Island.
A major ‘switch-on’ of 13 cabinets has taken place in Freshwater – ensuring more than 3,600 homes and businesses in the village are able to place orders for the high speed technology.
Other locations where access has recently been provided are parts of Wootton, Bembridge, St Helens, Seaview, Niton, Godshill and Rookley – together with some areas without access in Ryde, Newport, Cowes and Sandown, which were outside BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband.
Areas previously connected, include parts of Shorwell, Brighstone, Gurnard and Whippingham – and work on installing new cabinets is also continuing in Chillerton, Chale Green and Ventnor.
By the autumn the project is expected to have made fibre broadband available to
around 20,000 extra Isle of Wight premises – ensuring the Island is one of the best connected areas in the UK.
When combined with the commercial roll out of fibre broadband, it means 99 per cent of Island homes and businesses will have access to fibre broadband.
The multi-million pound rural broadband partnership is jointly funded by the Isle of Wight Council, which is investing £2.4 million to match the funding provided by the UK government through the BDUK programme - and BT, which is contributing capital and ongoing revenue funding of £2.7 million.
To date, 60 cabinets have gone live around the Island, giving access to more than 12,000 premises. By completion, a total of 130 structures will have been installed.
To find out if your area has access or when it is scheduled to be connected up, you can visit: http://www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/where-and-when/
The new fibre-based network is open to all broadband internet service providers on an equal basis, so customers – both residential and business - will have access to a wide choice of broadband providers.
Isle of Wight Council Executive member for economy and tourism, Councillor Shirley Smart, said: “This major switch-on at Freshwater and in many other locations shows the project is progressing well and giving more and more homes and businesses access to high speed broadband.
“We would encourage as many people as possible to take advantage of the service and the benefits it can bring, particularly with the hope that over time, it will assist with attracting inward investment and providing a real boost for business and tourism.”
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “This milestone marks great progress in the rollout of fibre broadband on the Isle of Wight. On the Island more than 63,000 homes and businesses now have access to high-speed fibre broadband thanks to this multi-million pound partnership and BT’s own commercial fibre broadband programme.
“Working in partnership with councils such as the Isle of Wight, we have been able to reach into the heart of hundreds of communities that have so far been beyond the reach of this vital technology.“
Nationally, the government’s rollout of superfast broadband recently passed the milestone of more than 2.5 million homes and businesses.
More information on the Isle of Wight project is available from the council by visiting iwight.com