Residents of one of Dorset’s oldest villages were today celebrating a leap into the future – and a major milestone for the multi million pound Superfast Dorset project.
Superfast Dorset’s 100th fibre broadband cabinet to ‘go live’ is in Martinstown, an historic community mentioned in the Domesday Book, which has a church dating from the 12th century. The new cabinet, located on the B3159, has made the high-speed technology available to more than 300 Martinstown homes and businesses.
The £31.75 million Superfast Dorset programme has so far rolled out its fibre network to include locations such as Bridport, Charmouth, Puddletown, Broadmayne, Upwey and business parks at Ferndown, Verwood and Gore Cross, Bradpole.
The programme is led by the county council, working in partnership with BT and the Government body BDUK and with financial contributions and support from West Dorset, East Dorset, North Dorset and Purbeck District Councils and Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole and Weymouth Borough Councils.
State of Mind Media, a digital media company based in Martinstown, was one of the first in the village to place an order for fibre broadband. Owner Shawn Keys said: “Fibre broadband will make a fundamental difference to our business as we are an internet based business. In order to compete with rivals we need to be able to match their resources. We will be able to reach customers globally and also benefit from employing freelancers.”
Paul Coles, BT’s South West regional manager, said: “The installation of Superfast Dorset’s 100th fibre broadband cabinet demonstrates the strong progress being achieved by the partnership. More than 270,000 households and businesses in Dorset now have access to fibre broadband when BT’s own commercial rollout of the high-speed technology is also included.
“Fibre broadband is already making a vital contribution to the success of households and businesses in Dorset and it will play a major role in the county’s future success. Whether you are starting a new business, working from home, studying or researching online or just going shopping, you can do it better with fibre broadband.”
Dorset County Councillor for Linden Lea Division Andy Canning said: “Superfast broadband is an excellent New Year present for the residents and businesses of Martinstown. It’s great news that so many of our villages are now as quickly connected to the internet as our urban areas. We are lucky to have an excellent quality of life without having to sacrifice our internet speeds!”
Dorset County Council signed a multi-million pound contract with BT in July 2013 to provide fibre broadband access to more than 80,000 premises. This, together with the commercial roll-out of fibre broadband by the private sector, will make superfast fibre broadband available to 95 per cent of premises in the county by the end of 2016.
The new network is available on an open, wholesale basis to all internet service providers, thereby ensuring competitive pricing and products for local households and businesses.
Announcements of other communities to benefit from faster, more reliable broadband are coming phase by phase throughout the three year life of the project. Further information on the Superfast Dorset project and coverage is available at www.dorsetforyou.com/superfast.