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BT and Dorset UK Sign GBP32m Deal to Expand Fibre Broadband Cover

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013 (12:00 pm) - Score 687

The Dorset County Council (DCC) in central southern England has today signed a new state-aid supported £31.75 million deal with BT to expand its fibre optic based (FTTC/P) broadband ISP services to cover 97% of the region within the next three and a half years (i.e. late 2017).

Thankfully BT was able to advise ISPreview.co.uk that 95% of the affected premises can expect to get superfast broadband (25Mbps+) speeds, while the last 3-5% should get speeds of between at least 2Mbps and up to 24Mbps.

The project is funded by £12.87 million from BT, £9.44m from the local authorities and a further £9.44m from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget. The Dorset councils have also invested a further £1.3 million to make sure the benefits of the network are maximised and encourage uptake.

Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset County Council, said:

It’s very important this broadband technology is made available to as many residents and businesses as possible. We want everyone in Dorset to have access to reliable and faster broadband within the next three and a half years and I’m delighted by this announcement as it’s a major step forward for our county.

We know that some residents and businesses are frustrated by slow or no broadband access in Dorset, especially in rural areas – it’s one of the biggest issues facing our county.

With the contract now signed, work on the project can get underway. This will give Dorset the competitive edge it needs to attract new businesses and will empower our communities by providing access to services, jobs, education.”

Bill Murphy, MD of BTs NGA Division, said:

This is great news for Dorset. Fibre broadband will provide a strong, reliable connection to the rest of the world – opening new horizons, helping us to be more efficient and keeping us in touch with vital services.

Faster broadband will help local businesses grow, attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy. If they thrive then everyone thrives – local businesses are the lifeblood of every community, creating jobs and stimulating growth.”

BTOpenreach will now begin a 6-9 month long “mobilisation period“, which among other things will start to survey the area during Autumn 2013 and the first locations to benefit are then expected to be announced by the end of this year. Apparently individual communities can expect to be told it’s coming six months before delivery.

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