Reeling in superfast broadband on the Winterborne

The multimillion pound Superfast Dorset partnership today announced its 500th fibre broadband cabinet has gone live with the village of Winterborne Houghton becoming the latest community in the county to receive superfast broadband.

The multimillion pound Superfast Dorset partnership today announced its 500th fibre broadband cabinet has gone live with the village of Winterborne Houghton becoming the latest community in the county to receive superfast broadband.

With the achievement of this key milestone, the partnership – funded by all Dorset councils, Central Government and BT - moves a step closer to reaching its goal of making fibre broadband available to 90,000 Dorset homes and businesses by the end of 2017.

Engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, overcame challenges in delivering fibre to the new cabinet so that locals, such as fishing rod maker and businessman Tom Regula, can reel in the benefits of the transformational ‘up to 80Mbps’ service.

With over 40 years’ experience, Tom crafts high-end fly fishing rods using the finest materials from his workshop in Winterbourne Houghton.

Tom’s signature handles are made from spectacularly figured old wood joined with Portuguese cork. With clients as far afield as Alaska lining up for one of his bespoke rods, superfast broadband may even allow him to cast his line even further afield.

He said: “Faster broadband means I’m saving time on the computer when sourcing materials and video calling when liaising with clients, which means I can spend more time behind my workbench, crafting more rods while my business grows.”

The technology not only offers growth for local business, but enables better online learning and entertainment for households, granting digital freedom to the typically rural community of Winterborne Houghton.

District councillor Audrey Burch said:

“This is such an important development in the life of our villages. It will greatly increase the connectivity to their properties and hopefully give small businesses the confidence to start up in North Dorset.”

Delivering fibre to the fourth and final cabinet in the Winterborne Valley proved difficult because of the village’s location. A round-a-bout route had to be used through private land, farms and woodland to protect a local Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Paul Coles, South West regional manager for BT, said:

“This highly successful partnership is overcoming the engineering challenges posed by rural areas to get superfast fibre broadband to some of the county’s more remote locations. The arrival of this exciting technology is a major boost for local communities because whatever you do online, you can do it better with fibre broadband.”

With over 90 percent of Dorset now able to upgrade to superfast fibre broadband, Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said:

"Our rollout of superfast broadband in Dorset continues at pace, and it's great to see the fantastic achievement so far from the Superfast Dorset team. Nine out of ten UK homes and businesses can now get superfast speeds, and we are on track to reach 95 per cent of the UK by 2017."

Speeds don’t improve automatically, you need to contact your service provider to order a fibre service. To check if you can make the switch, visit dorsetforyou.com/superfast, where you can also sign up for regular updates and to be notified when fibre is available in your postcode.


Enquiries about this news release should be made to Ward Coster, Marketing and Communications Officer for Superfast Dorset, on 01305 225066.

For BT enquiries, contact 0800 085 0660. All news releases can be accessed at 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:

DCMS - £11.7m

BT - £13.29m

Dorset councils - £12.3m

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

The Superfast Dorset project will help to provide:

  • 97% of Dorset premises with access to superfast broadband (at least 24Mbps)
  • Even more premises with access to fibre broadband (this will offer speeds above 2Mbps)
  • 100% of premises with access to greater than 2Mbps, some via other broadband technologies

Further information is available from www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast

About Superfast Britain

Superfast Britain is a Government programme of investment in broadband and communication infrastructure across the UK. Run by the Department for 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:

  1. £790m to extend superfast broadband to 95% of the UK by 2017;
  2. £150m to provide high-speed broadband to businesses in 22 cities; and
  3. £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