Fast internet boost for ‘ hard to reach’ places REMOTE COMMUNITIES CAN APPLY FOR COUNCIL FUNDING
The scheme applies to locations not covered by the Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme, which aims to connect 97.4% by 2019.
HCC will provide up to half of the funding to match money raised by residents, to help connect the remaining 2.6% of communities in areas which are more expensive to reach.
Council leader Councillor Roy Perry said: “Good broadband access is fundamental.
“People rely on the internet every day, whether it’s for banking, shopping or learning and working from home.”
“Not only is the economy it of vital for Hamp- shire, it is also an effective way of delivering modern and accessible public services,” he said.
“This money will allow more people to benefit from what is rapidly becoming an essential service.”
The community match funding scheme has been developed in conjunction with BT’s Community Fibre Partnership.
It follows a wider rollout of superfast broadband services across Hampshire, which so far has involved upgrading connections to more than 87,000 properties.
The Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme will increase coverage across the county from 80% to 97.4% by the end of 2019, well in excess of government targets.
By 2019, HCC will have invested £ 12.9m in to the programme, on top of £ 16.4m from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and £ 1.25m from district councils.
Steve Haines, managing director of Openreach, said: “It’s great to work with HCC to find a fibre broadband solution.
“Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible for households and businesses.
“The technology has the ability to transform the way people interact online.”
For more information about the community match funding scheme, go to www. hants. gov. uk/ broadband