The first phase of surveying is over in Dorset and thus the first areas that will benefit from the £31.75 million partnership are now known. Bridport, Charmouth and Chideock are the first communities to benefit from the project that is intended to take superfast coverage in the county from the basic 60% already achieved via commercial work to 95% (a higher 97% will be connected to a fibre based product).
"Today’s announcement is a major step forward in a multi million pound partnership, which will help transform broadband communications in Dorset. This exciting technology will provide a major boost for local businesses and households whether they are seeking to attract new customers and become more competitive or simply using the internet for educational and leisure purposes. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband."Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group
The first phase is expected to benefit some 10,000 premises, with the first cabinets going live in June 2014. Areas of Weymouth, Verwood and Ferndown should see infill work to build on the previous commercial roll-out. A map of the phase 1 roll-out and a few words about each area is available on the Superfast Dorset website.
The press release contains the snippet that Dorset has an average download speed of 10.9 Mbps, our own broadband speed test data gives an average download speed of 13.3 Mbps and a median speed of 7 Mbps. Some 16.1% of the tests we have seen for Dorset are under 2 Mbps, and 13.3% are 30 Mbps or faster and as the roll-out increases and people actually upgrade we should see these speeds increase.
It is unlikely that we will see the slower counties catch-up with the faster parts of the UK, as improvements by Virgin Media and others mean the already fast areas are going ever faster, the key thing will be whether they can get as many people as possible for the pot of money available up to a decent speed.