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Fibre broadband arrives in Isle of Wight’s rural communities

Wednesday, August 27th 2014 by Hannah Langston

Residents in rural parts of the Isle of Wight will now be able to connect to fibre broadband.

The first cabinet to be ‘switched on’ as part of the Isle of Wight’s multi-million pound rural broadband project is now serving 240 homes and businesses in Shorwell.

Residents in nearby Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone and Merstone will also be upgraded to fibre broadband this summer.

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said: “This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband on the Isle of Wight.

“We understand how important access to superfast broadband is - the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the Island’s economy.”

Once completed in autumn 2015, the partnership between the Isle of Wight Council, BT and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, will have enabled around 20,000 rural premises to access high-speed broadband.

BT has already rolled out fibre broadband to 49,000 premises in the Island’s urban areas, as part of its commercial investment.

When combined with the rural rollout, 95 per cent of Island homes will have access to a fibre broadband connection.

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT said the project is “great news” for Shorwell and the Isle of Wight.

“The broadband partnership will ensure more households are able to benefit from high-speed broadband, whether they are using the internet for research and online training or just browsing for entertainment and leisure purposes.

“Faster broadband will also help local businesses grow, attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy,” he added.

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