New £3 million contract will make high-speed fibre broadband available to 3,000 more Dorset homes and businesses

Three thousand more homes and businesses in Dorset will get access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of a further £3 million investment, the Superfast Dorset partnership announced today.

Three thousand more homes and businesses in Dorset will get access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of a further £3 million investment, the Superfast Dorset partnership announced today.

The announcement comes as Superfast Dorset passes a major milestone in its first contract. Over 40,000 homes and businesses can access faster, more reliable broadband, including many communities which had no previous fibre broadband.

The new agreement extends the contract between Dorset County Council, its partner local authorities, Government and BT. It will bring fibre to about 50 Dorset communities by early 2018, including Bloxworth, Glanvilles Wooton, Swyre and Uploders.

Superfast Dorset builds on the private sector’s own commercial rollout of the technology. In total, around 300,000 homes and businesses in the county now have access to fibre broadband and the number grows every month.

Dorset County Council Cabinet portfolio holder for the economy, Cllr Colin Jamieson, said: "Thousands of people across rural Dorset have already ordered fibre broadband and are finding their lives transformed because they can connect with friends, family, jobs, services and training no matter how remote their homes.

“Businesses are learning to make the most of the new technology to reach more customers and work in new ways. Further embracing fibre technology can only be good for Dorset’s businesses and tourism.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for next generation access, said: “This is another very important step forward for a successful partnership, which is playing a major role in the future prosperity and economic success of Dorset.

“Superfast broadband is transforming people’s lives. If you are a businessperson, you can use the technology to work more efficiently and effectively, find new customers and work more closely with them. If you are a family, you can benefit from improved access to online learning, education and entertainment and communicate better with friends and family across the world.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: "Our rollout of superfast broadband is now reaching 5,000 more UK homes and businesses every day. Superfast Dorset has made tremendous progress and I congratulate them on having reached more than 40,000 premises so far. The extra funding announced means an additional 3,000 homes and businesses will now benefit as we transform Dorset's digital landscape."

This latest additional funding is coming from the county, district and borough councils (£1.3 million), the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme (a further £1.3 million) and BT (£0.4 million).

A wide range of broadband providers offer a service over the new network, ensuring competitive pricing and products for local households and businesses. The partnership will continue mainly to use Fibre to the Cabinet technology (FTTC), which offers download speeds up to 80Mbps and upload speeds up to 20Mbps.

The Superfast Dorset map has been updated to show the areas to be covered in the new contract: www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast


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