More than 240 residents and businesses will benefit from superfast broadband services on the Isle of Wight after the first cabinet was installed by BT.
All ISPs will be able to offer their services to the residents of the island, meaning more choice for consumers who can order broadband services as further cabinets are switched on.
The first cabinet is situated in Farriers Way, Shorwell, and is the first installation on the Isle of Wight as part of the government’s BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) scheme.
Isle of Wight council executive member for economy and tourism, councillor Shirley Smart, said: “This will bring significant benefits to people in these areas and should over time assist with attracting inward investment and providing a real boost for business and tourism.”
BT is working with the Isle of Wight Council to roll out FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband to more areas on the island and once completed next year, the authority reckons 20,000 premises will have access to superfast broadband services.
Communications minister Ed Vaizey said: “This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband on the Isle of Wight and we’re on track to deliver access to superfast speeds to 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses by 2017.
“We understand how important access to superfast broadband is – the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the Island’s economy.”
BDUK aims to bring superfast broadband service to rural areas around the UK and is working on connecting even the most remote islands to the internet, including the Outer Hebrides and the Isles of Scilly.
The £7.6million Isle of Wight BDUK project proved controversial, with incumbent cable provider WightFibre arguing that it should have been provided with funds to upgrade and extend its Virgin Media-style cable network across the island.