Superfast broadband coming to dozens of villages near Dorchester and Weymouth by Christmas

Ten thousand homes and businesses in dozens of villages around the Dorchester and Weymouth areas will have access to fibre broadband by Christmas thanks to Superfast Dorset. This will bring the total number of premises with access to the technology as a result of the programme to almost 20,000.

Superfast Dorset announced Monday that the second phase of the project rollout will include work in the exchange areas of Abbotsbury, Dorchester, Maiden Newton, Martinstown, Preston, Puddletown, Upwey and Warmwell.

Villagers from around Dorchester and Weymouth gathered to hear when the project will be coming to them at an event on Monday evening at Frampton Village Hall.

This second phase builds on the work of the private sector which has already brought faster, more reliable broadband to most of Dorset’s towns and the project’s first phase, which is bringing it to Bridport this summer and has made the high-speed technology available in Charmouth and Wootton Fitzpaine.

A new map was unveiled at the event to show all the areas where fibre services will be available by Christmas1 and where the project plans to go next year. The interactive map is now available on dorsetforyou.com/superfast.

Councillor Jill Haynes, Cabinet member for adult social care said: “Gaining access to the fibre network will be a huge opportunity for residents and businesses in these communities. For a vast number of micro businesses in rural West Dorset who need faster, more reliable broadband to make their living, Superfast Dorset is delivering a step change. We want to encourage everyone to find out about the benefits of faster, more reliable broadband so they can boost their business, stay connected and make the most of a range of support and services that are available for them.”

Grant Munn, BT programme manager for Superfast Dorset, said: “Superfast Dorset has been making strong progress since it was launched less than a year ago. The first homes and businesses in the county to benefit from the partnership already have access to this exciting technology and now, as this latest announcement shows, we are reaching out to many more rural communities. High speed fibre broadband will boost the competitiveness of local businesses as well as providing new learning and entertainment opportunities for households.”

Since the £31.75 million partnership was announced last year, engineers from BT’s local network business, Openreach, have been busy surveying the network in order to ensure that the roll-out of the new technology is carried out in the most cost effective and efficient manner.

The Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) technology being used in this second phase can deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps2 through fibre running to a fibre optic street cabinet. According to regulator Ofcom, the average download speed in Dorset is 10.9Mbps.

Once in place, the fibre optic network is available on an open wholesale basis to all broadband providers, which will ensure competitive pricing and a wide choice of suppliers for local households and businesses.

The Superfast Dorset partnership aims to have made superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of the county’s premises by the end of 20163. Further, the programme is committed to ensure a minimum speed of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area on request where fibre broadband isn’t viable.

Announcements of other communities to benefit from faster, more reliable broadband will come phase by phase throughout the three year deployment. Register to receive an email when fibre broadband is available in your area at www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast.


Notes to editors

1We will have more information about events we are planning for the Phase 2 areas over the next few months and when – and how – people will be able to expect to take service.

2These are the top wholesale speeds available from BT’s local network division Openreach, to all broadband service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

3This percentage includes BT’s commercial rollout of fibre broadband.

The majority of homes and businesses in these areas will be covered in this phase; the project will be returning later with other technologies for those not initially included.

A full list of the villages to be included in this phase will be confirmed nearer the ‘go live’ date.

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, 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
DMCS - £9.44 m
BT - £12.87 m
Dorset councils - £9.44 m towards the infrastructure plus a further £1.3 m to ensure the benefits are maximised.
Breakdown of Local Authority allocation including project management costs
• Dorset County Council - £7,429,073
• West Dorset District Council - £1,259,834
• Christchurch Borough Council - £100,044
• East Dorset District Council - £293,512
• North Dorset District Council - £741,966
• Purbeck District Council - £350,718
• 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.

About Superfast Britain
Superfast Britain is a 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