A PROJECT to bring ultrafast broadband internet to rural parts of Dorset has been named the best of its kind in the country.

Wessex Internet took full fibre broadband to one resident who had rigged up his own system after being told by a national provider that his home was impossible to reach, award judges were told.

The business won the Best Rural Hard to Reach Project at the INCA Gold Awards, which recognise independent networks for delivering digital infrastructure.

The award recognises the Blandford-based company’s rollout in Pallington Heath and Waddock in rural Dorset – a project covering two hamlets and remote properties nearby.

Jobs created in full fibre broadband by Wessex Internet

One resident, whose house was in the middle of a Forest, had been told his home was impossible to reach with fibre, the awards judges heard.

He relied on a makeshift yacht antenna connected to two data SIM cards. However, Wessex Internet was able to connect him and all other properties in the area within six months of the project starting.

Hector Gibson Fleming, chief executive of Wessex Internet, said: “We’re honoured to have won this national award. This really is testament to the hard work of our team.

“From the guys out in the fields building our network in all weather to the teams in the office that serve our customers every day, everyone is passionate about bringing fast, reliable broadband to local communities and we’re really proud of what they have achieved.

“The project was just one of the hundreds of local rural communities we have connected to full fibre broadband in the last few years. With recent growth in our company, we’re excited that we will be bringing full fibre broadband to thousands more homes and business in local market towns, villages and hamlets in the next few years.”

Wessex Internet plans to create more than 100 jobs in the coming year as it accelerates the rollout of full fibre broadband. Most of the jobs are based in Dorset, with some construction vacancies in Sparkford, Somerset.

Only 18 per cent of UK homes currently have access to full fibre broadband, but the government has set a target of 85 per cent by 2025.