Hampshire wants to spend £5 million to provide 98 per cent superfast broadband coverage by 2017.
Following a rise in reserves, Hampshire County Council has found an extra £100 million to spend and it wants to put some of this towards extending the proposed broadband footprint.
BT and Hampshire County Council have already signed a £13.8 million contract that will see 90 per cent of homes and firms getting speeds of at least 25Mbps. An extra £5 million will extend the reach to nearly 100 per cent.
Read Recombu Digital’s guide to Fibre Broadband and BDUKThe majority of locations in the 90 per cent will benefit from BT’s FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) connections which currently provide top download speeds of 80Mbps. A handful will get faster and future-proofed FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) lines providing speeds of up to 330Mbps.
Those in the remaining 2 per cent will get a basic 2Mbps service, delivered either via bonded DSL copper lines or satellite broadband.
New council leader Roy Perry told the Southern Daily Echo: “With these proposals coming on top of the existing plans we aim to put Hampshire at the very high end of coverage and performance criteria of any county in England.
“This will be one of the most significant investments we make in the life of the council for the benefit of young, old, families, rural, urban, learning and business.”
BT hasn’t commented on the new plans as nothing has been officially confirmed by the council. Even though BT has won the main Broadband Delivery for the UK (BDUK) contract for Hampshire, it’s not a given that BT will get the extra cash for the 8 per cent.