Broadband News

Rural Wiltshire to benefit from Wiltshire SmartPlace scheme

The Register has news of another partnership between BT and various bodies, that should result in another 11 exchanges gaining ADSL. The £7 million for the scheme, is actually £3 million from BT, and the other £4 million from the following bodies: Wiltshire County Council, the South West of England Regional Development Agency, the county's four district councils, Swindon Borough Council, Business Link for Berkshire and Wiltshire, Wiltshire Learning and Skills Council and Community First.

The 11 BT exchanges that would otherwise have not be enabled are: Chiseldon, Keevil, Bromham, Pewsey, Westbury and Wilton ready by early November, followed by Purton, Cricklade, Seend, Amesbury and Hawthorn prior to Christmas. In early 2004 a further six exchanges may also be upgraded.

These are an additional nine exchanges that are already in the build phase: Corsham, Malmesbury, Wootton Bassett, Stratton St Margaret, Bradenstoke, South Cerney, Highworth, Sherston and Warminster that were to be enabled even before the SmartPlace scheme started.

This latest scheme is the fifth out of thirty public and private partnerships that BT is presently involved with. Unfortunately news of which exchanges/areas are being considered is kept confidential until agencies are ready for the final announcements.

It should be noted that not all of the £7 million is for enabling exchanges, around £4 million is to be spent on creating broadband content, supporting distance learning projects and promoting teleworking. This should help to provide the demand for broadband that otherwise would not exist in the area, and therefore why BT is willing to put £3 million into that area.


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