The county of Hampshire which was originally in a joint BDUK project with Southampton is now going on its own merry way after Southampton started to chase City status funding, and has announced that its project is starting the formal tender process, with the appointment of its commercial partner likely to be announced in February or March 2013.
The council has committed £5m to the project in addition to the £5m from the BDUK, which if the usual pattern of investment from commercial sector follows a total fund of £20m to £25m will be available to meet the 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment and 90% with the option of superfast broadband.
"Up to 115,000 households and businesses in Hampshire - that's just over 20% of premises - will benefit from this public sector funding. People desperately want access to this technology that will allow them to transform the way they do business and communicate. It is a major boost for homeworkers and will benefit families who use the internet for so many different things."Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Ken Thornber
Hampshire is in a lucky position that commercial investment has resulted in plans to bring 80% of the county within reach of superfast broadband, which means that compared to some counties the scale of the task in hand is not too horrendous. Even with a good starting point a three year timeline has been set out for the project, this takes it into 2016 missing the all important 2015 General Election deadline, though it is perfectly possible that the final year will be spent on getting coverage of superfast beyond the 90% basic target.
If you live in Hampshire and want to know whether Superfast broadband are available nor or planned for your area, then the council has a look up system, which will also allow you to register as part of the campaign. Registration is important so that the council can justify spending the money, and also make sure the areas it is targeting are the right ones.