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£3.86m funding boost for Wiltshire superfast broadband project

Tuesday, September 22nd 2015 by Ellen Branagh

An extra 5,000 homes and businesses in Wiltshire will benefit from superfast broadband thanks to a £3.86m funding injection.

The cash, announced yesterday (Monday) will extend Wiltshire Online’s fibre broadband rollout, which has already given access to 62,000 premises in the county.

The new deal adds extra funding to the council's contract with BT, with an additional £2.46m coming from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's Superfast Extension Programme (SEP), £500,000 from Wiltshire Council and £900,00 from BT.

Planning and surveying for the new phase will begin early next year and engineers from BT Openreach will start building and installing the fibre and structures next year.

John Thomson, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for broadband, said: "From the very the start of this project our aim was for as many people as possible to benefit from this vital service and I am delighted thousands more homes and businesses will have access.

"We have invested significant money into the project because we recognise the long-term benefits to Wiltshire and the many opportunities it will create."

Bill Murphy, BT's managing director of next generation broadband, added: "Superfast broadband has a huge impact on the way we live. It helps business to move, act and trade quickly and effectively.

"It enables schoolchildren to access their homework online, helps provide care for our elderly, as well as offering better access to e-commerce, social media and home entertainment.

'Essential'

“For all of these things, fast broadband is essential.

"We've already provided more than 62,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses with access to high-speed fibre broadband as a result of our partnership with the county council and we look forward to extending this even further across the county as a result of this announcement. "

In May, Cable.co.uk reported that fibre broadband had arrived in the Wiltshire village of Everleigh.

The Wiltshire Online project is hoped to deliver superfast broadband speeds, of more than 24Mbps, to 91% of Wiltshire homes and businesses by March 2016.

When combined with the private sector's commercial rollout, more than 180,000 Wiltshire homes and businesses already have access to fibre broadband across the county.

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