BRIDPORT, Charmouth and Chideock will be the first communities in the county to benefit from the £31.75million Dorset Superfast Broadband project.

Work will start in April to connect properties in the area to a high-speed fibre network with the first households going online by the end of June.

Superfast Dorset aims to make superfast broadband with speeds of at least 24mbps available to 95 per cent of the county’s premises by the end of 2016.

The remaining five percent in the most rural areas would receive speeds of a minimum of 2mbps.

The Superfast Dorset team revealed the areas which will be first to be connected at a briefing at Bridport Town Hall before a public meeting to explain the roll-out to local people.

Areas in phase one cover Bridport, West Bay and Bothenhampton, stretching from Burton Freshwater in the east, via Chideock to Golden Cap, stopping short of Morcombelake and the Marshwood Vale in the east and Salway Ash in the north.

The Charmouth area will cover the village and an area to the north.

The first phase will see 7,900 Bridport households covered, 600 in Charmouth and 460 in Chideock with 580 more in Bridport, 460 extra in Charmouth and an additional 150 in Chideock as part of phase three by the end of this year.

Dorset County Council leader Spencer Flower said: “This is a really historic day for the county of Dorset. The initial phase of work will make a huge difference to a lot of people, especially residents and businesses in Bridport.

Bridport Mayor Coun Maggie Ray: “Bridport has long been home to traditional industries like shipbuilding, rope and netmaking. Now we are going to be at the cutting edge of technology.”