Full fibre rollout to remote areas

After a four-year campaign, one of UK’s most rural parts, West Dorset’s Marshwood Vale, has finally gained access to UK’s fastest internet speeds.

Almost 400 homes and businesses were part of the rollout.

Initially, Marshwood Vale was not included in the local authority's rollout plans as the focus was on more populated areas.

Daryl Turner, Dorset County Council cabinet member for the natural and built environment said: "The tremendous landscape in the vale made it an incredibly challenging build.”

But the community and residents of Marshwood Vale were determined for faster and more reliable broadband connections and by working together with local councils since 2014, the community secured more than £1 million of government funding.

Charles Somers, Chairman of the Marshwood Broadband Group said: “We succeeded in obtaining substantial funding to support a broadband network upgrade.

“The choice of fibre to the premises (FTTP) technology has meant an enormous change to people and businesses here and will contribute to maintaining the future for our very rural area for a wide range of people living, working, studying and running businesses here.

"The FTTP broadband service really is a future proof solution for us."

Due to the very small population of the area, the Superfast Dorset programme with partner Openreach focussed on delivering FTTP technology. Prior to the switch, download speeds averaged around 1Mbps and now after the rollout of full fibre networks, speeds have reached 1Gbps or greater - a thousand times faster.

These speeds are now available to premises in Bettiscombe, Marshwood, Fishpond, Shave Cross, Blackdown, Burstock and Synderford.

Emma Howarth, Programme Director for Openreach said: “The Marshwood Vale is a beautiful part of the country and I’m delighted that our engineers have been able to bring ultrafast broadband connectivity to the area."

The UK Government aims to bring full fibre to every home by 2033.