THE whole of Dorset should benefit from high speed internet rather than just the conurbation around Bournemouth, an expanding IT business says.

Datacenta Hosting is opening an additional site at the Dorset Innovation Park near Wool after 20 years based in Bournemouth.

Its managing director, Gordon Fong, said: “Even the notion of Digital Dorset is too centred around Bournemouth. This provides the rest of the county a slight disservice.

“My personal business outlook is developing into one which encompasses the whole of Dorset.”

He said for innovation to happen, high speed internet access was a necessity. High speed internet access, often cited as one of the biggest limiting factors for rural businesses, is essential for growth, Mr Fong said.

He added: “By having a facility at the Dorset Innovation Park, we want to join in on the collective innovation spirit of the businesses.

“By bringing high speed internet access, we want to support the growth of other businesses within the park. By hosting more and more services there and having a base further within Dorset, we want to bring new technical jobs to the area, with regards to rural Dorset.

“We want to reach out to the local education providers in West Dorset, so they recognise roles are available and within reach,” he added.

“For start-up businesses, or even for established businesses, the costs of office space, salaries and housing in the conurbation may be too high. Given the right resources, maybe a rural move can be the right move in terms of opportunity and longevity. By joining in and connecting Rural and Conurbation Dorset, we want to play our part in underpinning the Dorset digital economy.

“We want to help when businesses grow so they can remain easily connected, but more importantly, safely connected. Not everything has to go to London and back.”

Mr Fong moved to Bournemouth from the North East in 1996 when he was hired by a dial-up internet provider. He later joined Kimcell, which runs three brands including the web and server hosting business Datacenta.

He has seen Dorset’s digital sector survive the end of the 1990s dotcom bubble and the 2008 crash. The digital sector in Bournemouth and Poole went on to become the fastest-growing in the country.