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Dorset snags extra £770,000 for superfast broadband

Dorset is set to reap an extra £770,000 to invest in superfast broadband with Bournemouth and Poole also get a share of the cash. 

The money will be added to £9.44 million of funding given to the Superfast Dorset project, and will be used to bringing faster broadband to more areas of the county. 

The money will need to be matched by local government cash, meaning £1.54 million will be added to the fund. This news arrives after the government announced how the extra £250 million of additional broadband funding would be divided nationally.

Fibre to the Castles: Superfast broadband will be able to reach more people across Dorset

The Superfast Dorset project aims to bring speeds of at least 24Mbps to 95.6 per cent of the county by the project’s completion in autumn 2016. As revealed by the Bournemouth Echo, the project is also looking to give 97 per cent of the county speeds of between 2Mbps and 24Mbps and 100 per cent of premises speeds of at least 2Mbps. 

Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns welcomed the allocation of additional funds. Burns said: “The extra funding for this project is a smart investment, as the establishment of superfast broadband services in Bournemouth and Poole can only augment the rapid growth of the area’s creative and digital industries. 

“Bournemouth’s world-leading universities have helped attract a lot of business, and the new infrastructure will ensure it stays here.” 

While additional funds have been made available, a group of MPs wants BT frozen out of further rural broadband cash until it reveals the scope of its current superfast plans. Currently there’s no indication that this will be enforced. Given that BT is the sole remaining bidder for BDUK money it’s highly likley that its contract with Superfast Dorset will be extended. 

Image: Wikimedia Commons/Jim Champion


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