By the end of this month (March 2014), over 9,000 premises in Hampshire, which otherwise would not have had it, will have access to superfast broadband services thanks to the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme.
BT and Virgin Media are already rolling out superfast broadband to around 80% of premises in Hampshire. Hampshire’s Superfast Broadband Programme will help to address the gaps left where private sector providers have not been able to fund the infrastructure needed. This will extend coverage to 90% of premises by the end of 2015.
The first area to have the new service was Oakley, near Basingstoke, with areas of Gosport, Hart and the New Forest also now covered. Phase two of the project means that a further 8,500 premises in areas of the New Forest and Test Valley will be able to purchase superfast broadband services by the end of June.
By the end of 2015, more than 59,000 business and residential premises will be able to access speeds of 24Mbps+, and over 40,000 of these will have access to speeds in excess of 50Mbps.
The County Council recognises that fast, reliable broadband is important to people and businesses across the county, playing an important role in economic growth, as well as having a positive impact on rural communities. The programme represents a £13.8 million investment, £5 million of which has come from the County Council and its district and borough council partners. We are already working on plans to extend coverage to at least 95% of premises by the end of 2017 and have pledged up to £9.2 million to lever further funding for this.
Local business owner Jonathan Blake, from Little London, whose software company is already benefiting from a better connection, said:
“It has revolutionised my business. It used to take an age to upload bespoke software for customers and sometimes if there was a problem we’d have to start all over again. We now have an excellent service. It has saved us time and worry.”
If you have registered your interest in superfast broadband with us, we will be emailing you when services go live in your area. So if you haven’t already done so, please register by visiting www.hants.gov.uk/broadband
Because this is a new service, delivered using new infrastructure, residents and businesses will need to contact their Internet Service Provider (ISP) and ask them to upgrade their connection to a superfast (or fibre) based broadband product.
To find out which ISPs are offering the new services, please visit the Openreach web site at: www.superfast-openreach.co.uk/buy-it-now
BT Openreach is upgrading roadside cabinets to bring the exchange closer to your home, and improve the speeds of your broadband services. This new technology is expensive to install and this is why in some areas, a Government subsidy is necessary.
In the areas to be covered by Hampshire’s Superfast Broadband Programme, where broadband speeds are currently very low, even doing the most basic tasks online such as shopping, homework, internet banking and accessing information about public services, can prove impossible. Being connected to superfast broadband will mean these tasks are available quickly at the touch of a button.
In addition to this, people will be able to:
Visit www.hants.gov.uk/broadband for information on the technology behind the programme. The site also contains maps and a postcode checker showing where the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme expects to go.
Oakley Football Club hosted the kick off event to launch phase one of superfast broadband in Hampshire when the first cabinets went live. Volunteers at the Football Club rely on fast internet connection to contact players, mums and dads and suppliers. It will also allow them to collect membership subscriptions, arrange training, matches, and organise an annual six-a-side tournament more easily. Caz Gregory, the Club’s secretary, said: “Fast reliable internet connection is important to the Club especially when it comes to organising the annual tournament. The easiest way is for teams to complete online application forms so we need to be sure the connection is good for this. Our players are aged between 4 and 18 so the internet is one of the key resources they use to communicate – it’s part of everyday life to them. So we rely on good internet connections for our emails to them and communications via our website.”
To find out more about Oakley Football Club visit: www.oakleyfc.co.uk