Baughurst residents will be rolling up their sleeves to lay the foundations for a full fibre broadband service which will keep them better connected in the future.
Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council has agreed to kickstart the community project with £62,500 from the Communication Improvement and Technology Infrastructure Fund.
Solutions to improve the poor broadband network in Baughurst and its surrounding areas have been investigated by local action group Hampshire Broadband Ltd over the past three years.
The group’s proposal is to introduce an independent full fibre broadband infrastructure which would serve around 450 properties, and be capable of delivering speeds of 1000Mbps.
Following public consultation, the borough council agreed to provide a £62,500 grant for the initial installation and connection costs, with the community pledging to cover the remaining project expenditure. The project team is preparing to help lay the infrastructure for the new technology - including digging the trenches for cables in Baughurst.
The initiative supports the council’s commitment to support sustainable growth in the borough for commercial enterprises, home workers and in education, as well as improving residents’ quality of life.
Cabinet Member for Digital Innovation and Inclusion Cllr Hannah Golding said: “This is great news for residents and businesses in the Baughurst area – they can look forward to a reliable high speed full fibre broadband service to enable them to connect online quickly and efficiently. This project is the result of years of determination and effort by members of the action group and they should be congratulated on their success.
“Community projects such as this support rural areas that would otherwise be left behind in this digital age and the council is happy to support these residents and businesses in establishing a sustainable broadband network for their future.”
Basingstoke and Deane has been at the forefront of the broadband innovations since 2009 when the borough took part in one of the first trials of superfast broadband in the region.
It has worked closely with partners including Hampshire County Council, BT, OpenReach and Virgin Media on pilot trials and initiatives in order to support local providers and communities with the latest technologies.