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Wessex Internet’s North Dorset Project Gigabit Broadband Network Goes Live

Thursday, Oct 5th, 2023 (11:07 am) - Score 808
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Broadband ISP and network builder Wessex Internet has today announced that the first customers have gone live as part of their first £6m Project Gigabit contract with the UK government, which is deploying a new full fibre (FTTP) network to 7,100 uncommercial premises in rural parts of North Dorset (England).

The related LOT 14.01 contract award was officially announced during late August 2022 (here) and since then they’ve been busy expanding their roll-out to cover the rural outskirts of towns, villages and hamlets across the region – from Sherborne to Verwood and Shaftesbury to Blandford Forum.

NOTE: The provider has also secured the £14m Project Gigabit contract for 10,500 hard-to-reach premises in rural parts of the New Forest, Hampshire (here).

The original announcement stated that the first homes in North Dorset would be connected by the end of the year, with an expected completion date for all under this contract by 2025. Suffice to say, today’s news suggests that they’re keeping to that schedule and the first to go live were a retired couple in their eighties, who recently moved to Bishop’s Caundle, a small village in rural North Dorset.

Wessex Internet has now completed the first stage of its rollout under this 3-year contract and is now connecting homes and businesses in villages such as Alweston, Bishop’s Caundle, Littleton, Lower Blandford St Mary, Okeford Fitzpaine and Shillingstone.

Jez Allman, Chief Commercial Officer at Wessex Internet, said:

“We were delighted when the government awarded us the first publicly funded contract when it launched Project Gigabit last year. It means that we can change people’s lives positively as we connect 7,000 homes and businesses across North Dorset to world class broadband.”

The contract was actually the first one to be awarded under the project’s Gigabit Infrastructure Subsidy (GIS) programme, where local and regional contracts are awarded to suppliers (i.e. ISPs / network operators) who can help to build their gigabit-capable networks across some of the hardest to reach parts of that final 20% (F20).

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Mark-Jackson
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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