Swanage schools, Durlston Country Park and the tip in Swanage are to be among the first places in the UK to benefit from ‘next generation’ full-fibre broadband.
Connection under this ‘Gigahub Connectivity in Rural Dorset Project’ begins this month June 2022 and work will be completed by September 2023.
Cable laying in a Dorset field as ultrafast broadband makes its way to Swanage
No commercial plans
The roll-out is part of the government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit. The rest of the community, that currently struggles with poor internet connectivity, is set to benefit as a spin-off.
Dorset Council has been given nearly £900,000 to oversee the project and Blandford-based Wessex Internet has secured the contract to deliver the fibre, working alongside Building Digital UK.
The Swanage sites set to get the internet boost are Durlston Country Park, Swanage Recycling Centre, St Mary’s RC, St Mark’s C of E and Swanage Primary school, as well as the Swanage Children’s Centre.
They are among 35 sites across Dorset to benefit under the scheme as they are in areas where there are no commercial plans to roll-out full fibre broadband.
Dulrston Country Park and Swanage Primary School are among the first places to get the ultrafast broadband
Easier for homes and businesses to benefit
Without this investment, these community sites might have to wait years before they could take advantage of the fastest internet speeds.
By bringing the fibre to these sites in Swanage, it will mean the infrastructure is in place to make it easier for surrounding residents and businesses to also benefit from this latest technology at some stage.
Dorset Council says average internet speeds in Swanage are 67Mbps, so a gigabit-capable connection will make connections up to 15 times faster.
A machine called a Ditch Witch prepares the way for cabling
“Would otherwise have been left behind”
Dorset Council’s portfolio holder for corporate, transformation and digital, councillor Jill Haynes, said:
“This is fantastic news for many areas of Dorset that would otherwise have been left behind as we all start to move to gigabit-capable broadband speeds.
“It will bring immediate benefit to the sites included in the plans and it will also make it easier for residents and businesses in those areas to look to upgrade their broadband one day.
“Our reliance on very good broadband speeds is only going to become more important as technology evolves and investment like this will provide certainty for these communities’ futures.”
Connecting Dorset – from left to right (front) Dugald Lockhart, service manager for Dorset Council and Hector Gibson-Fleming, CEO of Wessex Internet; (back) Rowina Clift-Stanley, local delivery lead for BDUK and Margaret Onuora, head of regional delivery for BDUK
“Surrounding homes and businesses will also be able to get connected”
Hector Gibson Fleming, CEO of Wessex Internet, said:
“We’re delighted to have been awarded this contract by Dorset Council to provide a full fibre connection to important community sites across the county.
“Not only will 35 schools and other community facilities benefit from ultrafast and reliable connectivity, surrounding homes and businesses will also be able to get connected.”
Ultrafast broadband connections for 35 sites across Dorset up to 15 times faster than at present
“Lightning-fast internet speeds”
Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said:
“Thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses in rural Dorset will get better broadband through our £5 billion investment in Project Gigabit – the biggest broadband rollout in UK history.
“This initial £1 million in funding means Dorset Council can level up public services with lightning-fast internet speeds and encourages more broadband firms to build networks in the county’s rural areas.”
Digital roll-out in Dorset