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Isle of Wight reaches 99% fibre broadband coverage

Friday, May 27th 2016 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

The rollout of fibre broadband on the Isle of Wight has reached 99% of homes and businesses on the island.

Reaching the milestone makes it one of the best-connected parts of the UK.

The partnership between Isle of Wight Council, BT and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme has hit its target of reaching more than 20,000 premises.

Combined with the 51,000 properties reached by commercial broadband rollouts, 99% of the island now has access to fibre.

Demand for superfast services has also been increasing – more than 4,200 households and businesses have signed up for fibre so far.

One business benefiting from fibre is the Seaview Hotel in Seaview.

Hotel manager Tracy Mikich said: “Since investing in high-speed broadband our hotel business has become more attractive and we’ve also seen cost savings.

“Our hotel enjoys speed in excess of 70mbps and we are also able to offer free wi-fi to our guests and customers.”

Councillor Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight Council’s executive member with responsibility for the rural broadband project, said: “I am more than delighted that we have reached the target of 20,000 homes and businesses in mainly rural areas now having access.

“We are also greatly encouraged that over the past 20 months, as the cabinets have been installed and gone live across the Island, more and more rural homes and businesses have been taking advantage of their new access.

'Tech Island'

“This is great progress for those in rural areas, and combined with the commercial rollout, it ensures the island is one of the best places in the UK for high-speed broadband coverage.

“Looking to the future it means the island is extremely well-placed in terms of connectivity for its residents, visitors and businesses.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said: “The ‘Tech Island’ is shaping up to be one of the best connected areas in the UK.

“This exciting technology is transforming the opportunities for communities across the Isle of Wight and the UK as a whole.

“Successful broadband partnerships are creating a lasting legacy, which will play a key role in the future prosperity of communities for many years to come.”

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