Hampshire Broadband team attend Digital Summit at South Downs National Park

On Friday 20th November, the Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme team, representatives from BDUK, and Ed Vaizey, Minister for Digital Economy, attended a "Digital Access Summit" convened by Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel and South Downs.

Hosted by the South Downs National Park Authority in Midhurst, the event  was attended by over 40 elected representatives, businesses, experts and organisations from across the South Downs.

The South Downs National Park has an area of 1,625 square kilometres, of which 544 square kilometres are in Hampshire. The total population living within the national park is approximately 108,000. Of these residents, 42,000 live in Hampshire.

There are 25 live cabinets in the South Downs National Park; recently enabled cabinets include Liss 5, Petersfield 23, Wickham 9 and Itchen Abbas 1. In Wave 2 of our project we will upgrade a further 30 cabinets in the Park, bringing the total of Superfast Broadband enabled cabinets to 55.

These new cabinets will be located all over the South Downs National Park, including: Alresford, Bentley, Blackmoor, Durley, Liphook, Liss, Petersfield, Rowlands Castle, Selborne, Tisted, Twyford and Wickham. You can find out more about Wave 2 here.

Speaking at the summit, Minister Ed Vaizey, confirmed the Government’s commitment to ensure that 95 per cent of the country will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2017.  In Hampshire this is being achieved in wave 2 of our project, with more than £16million of investment from the Government and the County Council.

But he said that the Government wanted to go further with a broadband Universal Service Obligation which would give everyone the legal right to request a connection to broadband with speeds of 10 Mbps by 2020.  

The summit also heard from senior executives of BT and Vodafone, representatives of West Sussex County Council, Hampshire County Council, and the Rural West Sussex Partnership.

Andrew Field, Broadband Programme Director at Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the Government body responsible for the broadband roll-out, told the meeting that harder-to-reach properties would receive fast broadband through a range of technologies, including satellite, wireless and fibre. Hampshire is currently running a pilot for alternative technologies with Call Flow Solutions in the areas of Ropley and Bramdean in East Hampshire. You can find out more about this here: Call Flow Pilot.

L-R: Nick Herbert, MP for Arundel & South Downs, Ed Vaizey, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy and Margaret Paren, Chair of the South Downs National Park Authority 

Read the Prime Minister’s announcement ‘Government plans to make sure no one is left behind on broadband access’

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South Downs Authority



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