Superfast broadband for rural Dorset moves closer with multi-million investment
Superfast broadband access in rural parts of Dorset is edging closer as Dorset County Council aim to invest £19 million of public funding.
The council is hoping to provide fast internet connections for residents in rural areas, particularly North Dorset - where broadband is currently not available.
Cllr Robert Gould, the council's portfolio holder for environment said: "This week represents an important milestone for the project.
"We have worked closely with our partners to agree the best way to improve the access to superfast broadband for as many people in Dorset as possible.
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"We are already seeing benefits in the towns where commercial providers are already upgrading their networks. Dorset contains huge rural areas which would be left behind without this project.
"We have £9.44 million from the Government and, with our partners, are investing a further £9.44 million of local public funds."
Partners working with Dorset County Council include district and borough councils, local businesses and community groups.
Providers will be expected to invest a further £19 million of their own resources into the network in Dorset. Bids will be accepted until April for companies to provide broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps to 95 per cent of businesses and homes across the county.
Cllr Deborah Croney, leader of North Dorset District Council said: "The approach we have taken aims to ensure all rural areas have access to faster speeds and most areas will have superfast speeds.
"We now need to consider all the options to make sure we push superfast as far as it is possible."