West Dorset District Council announces broadband investment
The various local authorities around the UK are slowly but surely indicating the size of the funding they are raising in addition to the funds allocated by the BDUK. Dorset is the latest area to indicate its Local Broadband Plan will be submitted to the BDUK by 31st December 2011, and if approved this will then release the £9.44m the BDUK has allocated to the county.
All the district councils and the county council are adding to the broadband fund, with West Dorset District Council announcing it will be contributing its share of the funding which is £1.3m. The expectation is that firms that bid for the actual contract, will also match fund meaning that there will be some £38m to meet the 2015 targets across the county. Details of the East Dorset contribution of £729,345 can be found in a report from 7th December 2011, this document also gives a lot more detail on the situation in the county.
|Funding required from each council in Dorset|
|Funding allocations||Premises||Premises with < 2 Mbps||Capital funding allocation|
|Tier 2 Authorities|
|East Dorset DC||40,688||7,108||£729,345|
|North Dorset DC||31,430||7,231||£741,966|
|West Dorset DC||51,214||12,278||£1,259,834|
|Weymouth & Portland BC||31,244||1,492||£153,093|
|Tier 1 Authorities|
|Dorset County Council||201,661||32,502||£6,367,015|
|Borough of Poole||69,658||3,191||£227,490|
|Bournemouth Borough Council||86,361||878||£70,495|
The aim for the Dorset scheme exceeds that of many counties as they are looking to deliver 100% superfast broadband coverage at the higher than usual speed of 30 Mbps. The appears to be to ensure they meet the 2020 EU targets earlier than 2020, rather than as some other areas will have to do, which is to have another round of spending between 2015 and 2020. While the goal is 100%, in the short term there is an acknowledgment that some premises may have to suffer just 2 Mbps in the short term, but an easily upgradeable solution will be used where possible. Some 172,670 premises look set to benefit from the project, which is lower than the total as some superfast broadband is being rolled out commercially in the more densely populated parts of Dorset.
"This is a once only opportunity and the success of the project relies entirely on an integrated approach from both local authorities and communities. We are very excited about the prospects of delivering this potential £38.88m project and the effects it will have for both businesses and residences.
Much of the business community in rural Dorset is made up of small to medium sized enterprises and inadequate broadband coverage inhibits growth and future employment. We want to support these businesses and keep them within communities in Dorset."District Council Leader Robert Gould