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First phase of Hampshire superfast broadband rollout meets targets

Friday, April 24th 2015 by Ellen Branagh

Hampshire’s superfast broadband rollout has reached more than 54,000 premises, organisers have revealed.

The county’s superfast broadband programme achieved its target of reaching more than 54,000 homes and businesses by the end of the 2014 financial year, allowing people to get speeds of 24-76Mbps.

An update on the project’s website said in the last fornight a total of 47 cabinets across the county have been enabled with superfast broadband, offering minimum speeds of 24Mbps to those living within 1,200m of the cabinets.

Newly-enabled cabinets are in: Aldershot, Alresford, Andover, Bentley, Bishops Waltham, Bransgore, Fareham, Farnborough, Hamble, Hartley Wintney, Herriard, Kingsclere, Liphook, Locks Heath, Medstead, Milford on Sea, Overton, Rowlands Castle, Rownhams, Sway, Titchfield, Totton, Wallop, Weyhill, Wickham and Winchester.

They bring the total number of superfast-enabled cabinets in Hampshire to 238.

Alongside government funding, Hampshire County Council and its partners are investing more than £26m to give superfast broadband access to at least 95% of homes and businesses in the county by 2018.

The last government set a target of bringing superfast broadband (speeds of 24Mbps and above) to 90% of the UK by 2016 through its Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, with a superfast extension programme increasing coverage to 95% by the end of the following year.

In February it announced that the rollout had reached more than 2m homes and businesses.

'Huge difference'

Announcing the milestone, former culture secretary Sajid Javid described it as a “tremendous result that is already making a huge difference to millions of people”.

He said the focus was shifting to the hardest to reach areas that make up the “final 5%”, with seven pilot schemes for alternative methods such as satellite hoped to help reach those areas.

Announcing its own milestone, the Hampshire superfast project said Wave 2 of its project is currently being planned by BT and Hampshire County Council, with more detailed information expected from September this year.

Last month, Cable.co.uk reported how a deal between Virgin Media and the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Partnership (HIOWP) to bring improved connectivity to the area had been extended for another four years.

Virgin worked with HIOWP as part of a £90m six-year contract known as Hampshire Public Service Network 2 (HPSN2), which delivers secure connectivity to thousands of public sector staff.

The network, which saves Hampshire County Council more than £1m a year, covers all aspects of telecommunications including wide area networking (WAN), fixed and mobile telephony, internet services, local area networking (LAN) and video conferencing.

Over 97% of Hampshire schools are now connected to the network, and 80% of all public sector services.

As well as helping staff to deliver the curriculum to thousands of schoolchildren, it has provided new ways of accessing information for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, whose firefighters use portable touch-screen devices to find the closest hydrants and assess risks while en-route to an emergency.

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