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Dorset UK Achieves 90 Percent Superfast Broadband Coverage

Friday, Feb 5th, 2016 (7:52 am) - Score 472

The £37m Superfast Dorset project in England has officially announced that 90% of premises in the county can now order a superfast broadband (24Mbps+) service thanks to their on-going roll-out of FTTC/P connectivity with BT, which has hit the target several months ahead of schedule.

The scheme, which is supported by the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, is currently working to make faster “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services available to 97% of local premises by the end of 2016 (around 95.6% will get “superfast” speeds of 24Mbps+) and it originally expected to hit the 90% “superfast” target in May 2016 and not Feb 2016.

So far the project has helped to put an additional 67,000 homes and businesses within reach of the service, which might have otherwise never received the new service or at best would have been left to wait a lot longer. We’d guess the overall total is around 330,000 when you include coverage from purely commercial deployments, such as those via Virgin Media, BT and Wessex Internet etc.

On top of that Dorset has already announced a smaller Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract with BT (here), which will add another 3,000 premises to the eventual total across 50 local communities by around 2017/18.

This week’s news also confirms that the clawback (gain share) mechanism in related contracts, which require BT to return part of the investment when take-up of the new service passes beyond the 20% mark, should return “almost £2 million for use in further expansion of the new connectivity. Sadly this didn’t arrive in time to help the SEP contract, but we’d expect to see a third contract once the Government has agreed a new approach to state aid.

It’s worth pointing out that most of the boost from this scheme will have come as a result of upgrading easier areas, such as those around the county’s main metro areas of Poole and Bournemouth. As such some progress may slow going forward due to the greater focus on remote rural coverage.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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