When news happens text pix and video to 80360. Start your message with BE then leave a space.
Providers invited to bid for Superfast Dorset contract
4:00pm Thursday 14th February 2013 in News
RURAL Dorset is one step closer to having access to superfast broadband now that potential providers have been invited to bid for the contract.
Dorset County Council is leading the project to achieve investment of £19m of public funds to ensure rural communities don’t get left behind.
Around 87,000 homes and businesses in Dorset will benefit from the project. The programme is due to be rolled out between July and September of this year.
Providers are expected to invest a further £19 million of their own resources in the Dorset network.
They have until mid April to bid to provide access to speeds of at least 24Mbps to 95% of businesses and homes across Dorset.
The premises which don’t get access to superfast broadband will get an upgrade to at least 2Mbps, with many getting much higher speeds than that. Currently one in five get just 0.5Mbps.
Cllr Robert Gould, 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.
“We have £9.44 million from the Government and, with our partners, are investing a further £9.44 million of local public funds.”
The partners include the district and borough councils, local businesses and community groups.
Cllr Deborah Croney, leader of North Dorset District Council, said: “The approach we have taken aims to ensure all rural areas will have access to faster speeds and most areas will have superfast speeds.”