Two internet providers have teamed up in the first steps to keeping internet traffic local inside Dorset.

The initiative by Juice Broadband and Datacenta Hosting means data does not have to go to London exchanges and back just to travel across the county.

Datacenta Hosting recently expanded from its Bournemouth base to Dorset Innovation Park at Winfrith, while Juice Broadband is based in Poole.

Their link-up comes after the coronavirus crisis led to a huge rise in the number of people working from home.

The two companies say that most networks have coped, while companies like Netflix and Disney+ have helped by reducing their streaming demands. But they say the country needs to look at being more “digitally resilient”.

Wayne Simpson, managing director of Juice Broadband, said: “We welcome this collaboration with Datacenta, where we can now exchange between our networks.

“As a local internet service provider, over the past 10 years we have built and invested in a local network ring which connects our Bournemouth and Poole network and data centres to our London POP (point of presence).

"Not only does this bring resilience to our network ,it also means that our customer traffic that is destined for a local destination, be it a homeworker connecting to their office VPN (virtual private network), streaming, or website, stays local, meaning business and residential customers benefit with greater reliability and lower latency.”

Gordon Fong, managing director of Datacenta Hosting, said: “We are in a position where businesses that could be viewed as competitors are working together with a longer-term strategic goal in mind.

"A greatly enhanced digital infrastructure that spans across Dorset is a benefit to all. There is more of this cooperation to come.”

Their link-up is one of many “network peering” agreements being made between providers in Dorset.

It will also be key to the expansion of 5G services and applications where the importance of latency – the time taken to connect and response speeds – outweighs the importance of throughput speeds.