Superfast broadband reaches 14,500 more Hampshire homes and businesses
Friday, 08 August 2014
As Government announces that the rollout of superfast broadband has reached more than one million homes and businesses across the UK, Hampshire is celebrating its own milestone.
Just over 14,500 premises across Hampshire, that would otherwise miss out on the advantages of faster internet speeds, can now connect thanks to Hampshire's Superfast Broadband Programme.
The £13.8 million county-wide rollout is firmly on track to extend superfast broadband to 90% of Hampshire's homes and businesses to be reached by faster broadband speeds by the end of 2015, Plans are also in place to reach even more Hampshire premises, with a joint £18.4 million investment from Government and Hampshire County Council to extend superfast coverage to at least 95% of premises by the end of 2017.
The county-wide rollout is a key part of Hampshire County Council's long-term economic plan to secure Hampshire's future by providing access to superfast broadband in areas that the private sector would not otherwise have reached. Faster broadband will not only help to improve profits for Hampshire and UK businesses, but will also create an additional 56,000 jobs in the UK by 2024.The work involved in the current rollout is expected to provide a £1.5 billion boost to local economies.
Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry said: "With 60 live cabinets in the county already offering superfast broadband services, Hampshire is firmly on track to help deliver access to superfast broadband to 95% of homes and businesses across the county, which are not currently being covered by the commercial market. Focus is now moving towards the 'final 5%' - those areas in the most remote and hardest-to-reach places in Hampshire that are not covered by existing plans.
"The County Council has already made available a total of up to £15 million to enable the market to be extended to 95 per cent of premises by the end of 2017, and £1 million has been invested in a pilot project currently underway, to investigate the best way of tackling these hard-to-reach areas."
The nationwide rollout is seeing a £1.7 billion investment being made. In addition, the rate at which superfast broadband is being rolled out under the programme is rapidly accelerating, with 30,000 to 40,000 premises gaining access every week.
Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said: "More than a million homes and businesses have now benefitted as a result of Government's investment in superfast broadband.
"It is totally transforming the way we live and work. You can download feature length films faster, chatting online with family and friends around the world using VOIP is more reliable and households can go online simultaneously without the connection slowing down or dropping out."
"For businesses, superfast speeds are boosting profits through increased sales, reduced overheads and accessing markets abroad for the first time."
Bill Murphy, Managing Director of next generation access for BT, said: "The Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme is making strong progress, bringing high-speed fibre broadband to some of the most challenging areas. The programme shows the power of the public and private sectors working together. BT has brought technical expertise to the table as well as millions of pounds of investment and, if we can go further, we will do so. This exciting technology is providing a major boost for local households and businesses whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and leisure."