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Council deal brings fibre broadband to Hampshire new-builds

Tuesday, July 21st 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Residents of a new-build development in Hampshire can now access superfast broadband.

Developers Bellway Homes, Bovis Homes and Taylor Wimpey Homes worked with Hampshire’s Superfast Broadband programme to connect properties on the Abbotswood development in Romsey.

Fibre street cabinets have been installed by BT’s local network business Openreach, giving residents access to speeds of up to 80Mbps.

Cable.co.uk reported on the deal in April, with Hampshire County Council leader Roy Perry saying faster internet speeds were “a must for most residents and businesses”.

Councillor Perry said the council would work with the organisations involved to bring new properties access to superfast broadband “from day one”.

Hampshire County Council has since called on the government to give local authorities the power to insist that new-build homes have access to high speed broadband.

The council has also started publishing a list of which new housing sites are looking to provide superfast broadband.

Hampshire Superfast Broadband’s programme manager, Glenn Peacey, told Cable.co.uk it is “almost impossible” for most people moving into new-build homes to find out what service they are going to get.

'Clawback scheme'

Sally Prince, acting sales director for Taylor Wimpey Southern Counties, working on behalf of the consortium of Bellway, Bovis and Taylor Wimpey, said: “We understand that having a reliable connection to the internet is vital in this day and age, which is why we felt it was so important to offer BT’s high-quality superfast broadband to our residents at Abbotswood.

“We are thrilled to hear that the broadband is now live at the development, and hope all of our homeowners will enjoy their superfast internet access.”

Stacey King, south east regional director at BT, said: “The agreement at Abbotswood is a great example of Hampshire County Council, developers and Openreach working closely together.

“The high-speed network installed by Openreach is available on an open basis to all internet service providers offering households faster internet access and the benefit of real choice from a highly competitive market.”

Resident George Winfield said a good internet speed is crucial for running his DJ business, Giant Sounds, from home.

“I will definitely be upgrading my service as soon as possible and on behalf of everyone on the estate; I want to thank the county council for making this happen,” he added.

The Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme has reached more than 59,000 properties that wouldn’t have been included in commercial broadband rollouts.

It is aiming to reach 97,000 premises, taking coverage in the county to 95% by 2018.

Hampshire County Council is hoping to fund the rollout to the final 5% by operating what it calls a ‘clawback scheme’ – the more residents that sign up for superfast broadband once it is available, the more funding the council can claim back from BT to reinvest in the county’s hardest-to-reach areas.

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