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Hampshire broadband programme

Rural Community Broadband Funding

£20 million of government funding has been made available to help rural communities across the UK access faster broadband. Applications for the second round of funding closed in July 2012.  A third round may be announced on the Defra website.

The Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF), jointly funded by Defra and Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), is aimed at the 10% hardest to reach areas which are unlikely to be upgraded through the commercial market and may only receive standard broadband with a minimum speed of 2Mbps (Megabits per second).

Although the Government has promised that everyone in the country will have access to broadband by 2015, it is thought that superfast broadband will only reach 90% of the population.

Everyone will see some improvements

Rural communities will see an improvement over the three-year lifetime of the Hampshire Broadband Programme, getting at least the minimum speed of 2Mbps. Nevertheless these communities may well feel left behind when they see how the rest of the country benefits from the economic, social and cultural advantages that much faster broadband brings.

Enhanced speeds increasingly necessary

The Rural Community Broadband Fund, which was launched in November 2011, is aimed at these communities who wish to explore small projects to boost that minimum provision to 24-30Mbps. These enhanced speeds are now necessary for seamless streaming of films, downloading of music, internet banking, shopping, teleconferencing, and other health, social and cultural activities that are increasingly available online.

Finding out more

Information about how to apply is provided by Defra. Eligible communities can bid for funding by working together to establish demand, identify solutions and can get help from a number of sources:

 

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