Thousands more set to benefit from Hampshire Superfast Broadband as Wave 2 timetable announced
The Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, has welcomed news that a further 34,000 premises in Hampshire will receive access to Superfast Broadband services between January 2016 and September 2018, as part of Wave 2 of the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme.
Commenting, Councillor Perry said: "This is great news for Hampshire. Once this stage is complete, we will have reached our initial (or present) target of ensuring 96% of Hampshire's homes and businesses have access to superfast broadband. Our programme has, so far, provided an extra 72,000 premises with access to superfast broadband - locations that would not have been covered by the commercial market.
"However, this does not mean we are complacent about the final 4%. Hampshire is hosting one of five government trials exploring the different business models and technologies that can be used to reach the remaining premises across the country, and I am committed to ensuring that no-one in Hampshire is left in the 'slow lane'.
"Superfast broadband is increasingly important if people are to take full advantage of opportunities offered by the internet. Linked to the economic prosperity and quality of life of people living and working in Hampshire - from small business start-ups to older people keeping in touch with relatives, superfast broadband is vital infrastructure in today's world.
"I fully endorse the Prime Minister's recent statement on the importance of broadband. I have invited Government Minster Ed Vaizey to visit Hampshire to examine ways of reaching the final 4%.
"I am also exploring ways of encouraging the Law Society to find some appropriate way of seeking information about the availability of broadband when doing conveyancing searches. Too many people tell me that after they bought a new house, they had assumed there would be good broadband connection and were deeply disappointed there can still be new houses with no adequate broadband."
Hampshire County Council and Government have provided funding of around £18.4 million for Wave 2 of the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme. The first areas will be connected from January 2016. There are five phases in the rollout of the programme, with between 7,000 and 9,000 premises covered in each phase. Wave 2 is due for completion by September 2018. Full details of the areas covered and timescales are available at www.hampshiresuperfastbroadband.com
Stacey King, BT's regional partnership director for the South East, said: "Major progress is being made with the rollout of fibre broadband across Hampshire, both through the Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme and BT's commercial fibre programme, which has now reached more than 400,000 homes and businesses across the county. I am delighted that we are working with Hampshire County Council to extend high speed broadband coverage to 96% of the county, and investing £16 million in the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme, in addition to the public money being spent. Whatever you do online, you can do it better with fibre broadband."
Take up of superfast broadband is currently at 21% across the county. To upgrade, people need to check with their internet service provider and find the best deal for their needs.