Hampshire set to reach 95% of premises with high speed broadband

Hampshire County Council’s commitment to investing in superfast broadband across the county has been reinforced by signing a second contract with BT to make superfast broadband available to an extra 34,500 properties. The map outlining this coverage can be viewed here.

This means that, once work is complete, superfast broadband will be available to 95 per cent of premises in Hampshire, and that at least 94,000 additional premises will be able to access Superfast services at a speed of at least 24Mbps.

Phase one, to ensure 90% of premises in Hampshire have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2015, is well on track, bringing access to a further 59,500 premises not covered by the commercial market. There are now extra cabinets (123) in Hampshire switched on for superfast broadband as part of the Hampshire programme, and some 55km of fibre optic cables has been installed so far.

Hampshire County Council is also working hard with District and Borough Councils, developers, BT and other potential suppliers of broadband to make it possible for more new homes, especially on large scale developments, to be able to access superfast broadband from the day they are first sold.

The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS), together with the County Council and other local government partners, invested £10m in the first phase of the programme to reach 90 per cent of premises by the end of 2015. BT invested £3.8m towards the cost of installing the new infrastructure. The County Council and DCMS have now made available additional funding totalling £18.4m to at least 95 per cent of premises by mid 2019 or earlier. Work on the delivery of the new contract is expected to start early in 2016.

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry Said: “It’s very good news for Hampshire that we have been able to push ahead with this significant project and ensure that more people and businesses will have access to superfast broadband services across the county. This is crucial if Hampshire is to prosper, helping people get on with their day-to-day lives, whether it is running a business from home, doing their homework online, or shopping or banking via the internet; as well as demonstrating that Hampshire is a good place in which to invest. It is also our intention to review with BT, and local developers, any scheme which is built – but does not have access to superfast broadband, to establish how best to proceed.”

Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey said: “I’m delighted that our rollout of superfast broadband in Hampshire is now going to reach an additional 34,500 local homes and businesses. We are witnessing a transformation of the UK’s digital landscape, and taking superfast coverage to 95% of the county will deliver tremendous benefits to Hampshire.”

Bill Murphy, BT Managing Director of next generation access, said: “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with Hampshire County Council to further extend the availability of superfast broadband in the county. These are exciting times for Hampshire.

“BT is committed to making this technology as widely available as possible. It offers huge possibilities for businesses and households whether they are using it to work more efficiently and find new customers or for online learning and entertainment purposes. This project will build upon the success of our own commercial roll-out in the county as well as our existing partnership with Hampshire County Council. In total, we’ve already provided more than 650,000 homes and businesses in Hampshire, Southampton and Portsmouth with access to high-speed fibre.”

Engineers for Openreach, BT’s local network business, are building the new fibre broadband infrastructure. Fibre to the Cabinet will be the main technology deployed. This can deliver wholesale downstream speeds of up to **80Mbps, and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. Fibre to the Premises technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps – will also be deployed in certain areas. The new network is available on an open wholesale basis to all internet service providers thereby ensuring that Hampshire households and businesses benefit from competitive pricing and products.

**80Mbps and 330Mbps are wholesale speeds. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may use different speeds in their advertising. Individual line speeds will depend on network infrastructure and the service chosen by the ISP

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