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First Customers Benefit from Superfast Dorset FTTC Rollout with BT

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014 (1:57 pm) - Score 634

The £31.75 million Superfast Dorset project in central southern England has today started to connect its first communities up to BT’s superfast broadband (FTTC) network in the villages of Charmouth and Wootton Fitzpaine, which combined represent around 400 local homes and businesses.

The project aims to extend the coverage of BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to cover 97% of the county by late 2016, with some 95% expected to receive “superfast” speeds of 25Mbps+ (the rest will get sub-24Mbps).

However today’s announcement is only the start and the project expects to upgrade 10,000 local homes and businesses during its first phase (Phase One Roll-out Plan). Further details concerning the next (second) phase of the roll-out are expected to be announced sometime next month.

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

These 400 homes and businesses are the start of a programme which will see us bring access to fibre broadband to almost 80,000 premises. This will breathe new life into Dorset’s villages, enabling young people to study on line and older people to work from home.”

It’s interesting to note that Dorset, despite already aiming to achieve the Government’s 95% coverage target for fixed line superfast broadband connectivity, has also recently been allocated another £770,000 under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office’s Superfast Extension Programme. The council are currently debating how this will be spent, although improving connectivity to the final 3-5% looks to be a safe bet.

Breakdown of Superfast Dorset Funding (excludes the above £770k)

DMCS/BDUK – £9.44m
BT – £12.87m
Dorset councils – £9.44m towards the infrastructure + £1.3m to ensure the benefits are maximised

Breakdown of Local Authority Allocations (inc. 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

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