SUPERFAST Dorset today named Bridport, Charmouth and Chideock as the first communities to benefit from its multi million pound roll-out of superfast broadband.
This first phase of the programme is expected to make the high-speed fibre optic technology available to around 10,000 Dorset homes and businesses with the first customers able to connect by the end of June.
Since the £31.75 million partnership was announced last year, engineers have been busy surveying the network .
Superfast Dorset aims to have made superfast broadband available to 95 per cent of the county's premises by the end of 2016.. It builds on the work of the private sector, which has so far given more than 60 per cent of Dorset homes and businesses access to fibre broadband.
The partnership also plans to ensure a minimum speed of 2Mbps for all premises within the programme area where fibre broadband is not viable.
Fibre technolody can deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. According to regulator Ofcom, the average download speed in Dorset is 10.9Mbps.
Councillor Spencer Flower, leader of Dorset County Council, said: "This initial phase of work will make a huge difference to a lot of people, especially residents and businesses in Bridport who will have access to the fibre network for the first time. "Research shows Dorset people want to be able to watch TV and films online, work from home more easily, buy and sell online and find out about local services. Faster, more reliable broadband connections will enable them to do all this more easily."
Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT Group, said: "Today's announcement is a major step forward in a multi million pound partnership, which will help transform broadband communications in Dorset. This exciting technology will provide a major boost for local businesses and households whether they are seeking to attract new customers and become more competitive or simply using the internet for educational and leisure purposes. Whatever you do online you can do it better with fibre broadband."
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey said: "This marks the beginning of a transformation of broadband for Dorset homes and businesses, with 95 per cent of premises now due to benefit from superfast speeds by 2016.
"The UK already does more business online than any other European country and widespread access to superfast speeds will provide a welcome boost to Dorset's economy."
Announcements of other communities to benefit from faster, more reliable broadband will come phase by phase throughout the three year life of the project. Find out whether your premises is included in Phase 1 at dorsetforyou.com/superfast.