This in from the council, in their own words. Ed
Work to connect the first rural communities for the partnership on the Isle of Wight will commence shortly, enabling some customers to place orders for high speed fibre broadband during summer 2014.
The first communities to benefit from new rural fibre broadband infrastructure during the project’s first phase include parts of Shalfleet, Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone, Shorwell and Merstone.
As the project gathers pace and more areas are connected, the council will provide the latest information on its website. In addition, the website will detail all areas to be covered by the project via an interactive map.
High speed broadband for 20,000 premises
The overall project will have enabled around 20,000 premises in the largely rural parts of the Island to access high speed broadband when it is completed in the autumn of 2015, making the Island one of the best connected areas in the UK.
The multi-million pound partnership is jointly funded by the Isle of Wight Council, which is investing £2.4 million in the project to match the funding provided by the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.
Smart: “Supporting the Island’s connectivity to the mainland”
Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council Executive member for economy and tourism, said:
“This is an important investment for the council in supporting the Island’s connectivity to the mainland and indeed the world and as a springboard from which the Island’s economy can grow.”
“Homes and businesses in some of our towns are already seeing the benefits of superfast broadband and we are delighted that work is starting to connect the largely rural parts of the Island. Having fast internet speeds across the whole Island is not only vital to the success of our small businesses, it is also key to attracting inward investment, one of the council’s key priorities. In addition, this investment will help us as we look at innovative ways of delivering more council services online. This is very important as the council looks to make financial savings over the coming years.”
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said:
“This is great news for the Isle of Wight. BT has committed £2.7 million to build and operate the network acrosss the Isle of Wight for the lifetime of the contract.
“Today’s announcement builds on BT’s commercial investment, which has already made fibre broadband available to around 49,000 premises, mainly in the Island’s towns. Faster broadband will also help local businesses grow, attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy.”
Choice of providers
The new fibre-based network is open to all broadband providers on an equal basis, so customers will have a choice of broadband suppliers. Households and businesses on the Isle of Wight will therefore benefit from a competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices from a wide range of broadband providers.
The technology will boost the competitiveness of local businesses, helping them to find new customers and operate more efficiently, whilst opening up a host of new learning and development opportunities for households.