Hampshire County Council and BT have now signed on the dotted line, which means that work to improve broadband across the county where the major commercial operators have so far feared to tread will now get underway.
The £13.8 million project comprises of £3.8 million from BT, with £5 million each from BDUK and the local authority. The programme target is to get super-fast broadband to over 90% of premises by the end of 2015 with everyone else getting at least a 2 Mbps service.
"Access to the internet and fast broadband is crucial to the on-going social and economic prosperity of the region. Putting in this network infrastructure is as important as other major transport infrastructures like roads, rail, and airports. This exciting development will ensure that Hampshire continues to be a great place to live, work and thrive. Encouraging and enabling people and businesses to get online is one of our top priorities. It will allow Hampshire residents and businesses to transform the way they live, work and communicate benefiting from new social and economic opportunities as well as reducing the costs of public services."Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council
The former Royal Navy airfield, Daedalus which is part of the Solent Enterprise Zone is set to be one of the first areas to benefit from the project. On project completion some 57,000 businesses and homes should have benefited with access to super-fast connections. Updates on the project progress should be available via www.hants.gov.uk/broadband.htm.
While the majority of the project will be FTTC based, there is the usual information on fibre on demand becoming available during 2013 in FTTC areas, but also some areas will get a native FTTP solution.