Hampshire Senate which is a voluntary partnership comprising of the County Council, district councils and other bodies is researching the possibility of creating a not-for-profit company to deliver super-fast broadband to the county. The aim being to target the parts of the county which are unlikely to see public sector roll-out of Next Generation Broadband services.
"Faster broadband speeds are vital for the ongoing growth of the county's economy. Research shows that there is a huge demand for improved speeds, but rural areas which make up over 85% of Hampshire, as well as many parts of our towns and cities, are still missing out on even the minimum levels, and this connectivity can often be the deciding factor for many businesses when choosing whether it's commercially viable to set up in Hampshire.
There is still some way to go before the benefits of faster broadband can be felt in many communities and if we decide that the only way to achieve this is by setting up a not-for-profit company, that's what we'll do. Using our collective might as the Hampshire Senate, we will be able to influence and negotiate better connections for households and businesses across all parts of the county."Chairman of the Hampshire Senate, Councillor Ken Thornber
The Senate estimates that the number of properties in Hampshire not getting 2Mbps broadband is around 112,000 home and 3,400 businesses. The population of Hampshire is roughly 1.2 million, but if you include Portsmouth and Southampton this rises to 1.7 million.
So while no firm commitments or plans have been announced, it looks as if another county in the UK is gearing up to ensure business and residential broadband users are not left behind. More news can be expected after the next meeting which takes place before the end of the year.