MORE people will get superfast broadband thanks to a £9.2m cash boost.
It comes as Hampshire County Council’s broadband programme, is ahead of schedule, with 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the county on target to be connected by the end of 2015.
The next five per cent – an increase of 27,000 premises – is expected to be the hardest and the most expensive yet to improve but the aim is to have them connected by 2017.
Council leader Cllr Roy Perry said: ‘Access to superfast broadband plays an important role in Hampshire’s economic growth and performance.
‘This is why we are working with government to deliver a programme to boost coverage of superfast broadband to rural areas that would otherwise be left out by commercial providers.
‘Hampshire’s programme will help fill the gap in smaller, rural areas that would otherwise be left out because the numbers of people who could potentially sign up are not commercially viable for providers.
‘Without our investment, these communities most likely would be left behind, as the broadband service providers invest in more densely-populated neighbourhoods where there are greater numbers of people to use their services.’
The first phase of the council’s programme began in October, giving more than 9,000 premises access to superfast broadband, a minimum of 24MBPS.
Central government is consulting on plans to bring the UK coverage up to 99 per cent by the end of 2018, by using a range of technology such as wireless, satellite, and 4G services.
The council is running a campaign where people can nominate their area to be part of the broadband upgrade.
Bishop’s Waltham and the surrounding area has the most nominations in The News area with 1,420 people. Other areas include Leigh Park with 345, Purbrook with 327 and Wickham with 270. To sign up go to hants.gov.uk/broadband.htm