Superfast Dorset to bring fibre broadband to 9,000 more homes & businesses

Third phase of project in north of county will see improved speeds for thousands

Around 9,000 homes and business in North Dorset will see internet speeds improve as Superfast Dorset rolls out fibre broadband to the area.

Engineering work is already underway on the third phase of the project and is expected by next spring to increase speeds in communities in the exchange areas of Blandford, Bourton, Child Okeford, Fontmell Magna, Gillingham, Hazelbury Bryan, Marnhull, Milton Abbas, Shaftesbury and Sturminster Newton.

The project said this work builds on previous efforts by the private sector in making fibre broadband available to most of Dorset's towns, including the majority of properties in Blandford, Gillingham and Shaftesbury.

The programme, a partnership between the government, BT and councils in Dorset, will continue work throughout North Dorset in future phases to reach an estimated 17,000 premises by the end of 2016 in North Dorset alone.

Since the Superfast Dorset rollout started in spring this year, approximately 18,000 properties across the county have gained access to fibre broadband. By Christmas, the project aims to reach approximately 30,000.

"This will make a huge difference across the county. People in rural areas, including much of North Dorset, currently struggle with frustratingly slow speeds. This technology will make a huge difference to families and businesses, especially in our isolated communities," said Deborah Croney, leader of North Dorset District Council.

 "Fast fibre broadband is a vital part of the future development and success of Dorset," said Paul Coles, BT South West regional manager.

"Already, more than 270,000 Dorset homes and businesses can get fibre broadband as a result of BT's commercial programme and the Superfast Dorset roll-out. We're more than four years into rolling out fibre broadband across the South West."

The Superfast Dorset partnership aims to have made superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of the county's premises by the end of 2016. A further program is aimed at ensuring a minimum speed of 2Mbps for all residents and businesses in the region.

A map showing the Phase three area, as well as an interactive coverage map of the whole project, is available on its website at www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast.

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