Broadband in the New Forest
Broadband is now a critical part of everyday life for all of us, particularly in doing business locally. Over the past few years, work has been ongoing to upgrade broadband provision with the aim of giving “Superfast” speeds to up to 95% of all premises across Hampshire by 2019, and at least 2Mbs speeds to the rest of us.
In the New Forest District Council area there is a lot of work to be done to achieve this and overcome the problems, especially for those who live or work in remote areas.
It is a fact that more than 5% of New Forest premises will not even be scheduled to be provided with “Superfast” access either by commercial rollout or government supported intervention such as Broadband Development UK (BDUK ) Hampshire County Council contract. The completion date has also moved to 2019, meaning that it is even more important that we maximise the benefits of the contract period.
Hyde & Ellingham Community Broadband Project
The parishes of Hyde and Ellingham, Harbridge & Ibsley are currently busy undertaking a project to self-fund an upgrade to their broadband service that will improve speeds for up to 475 homes.
The parishes are classed as ‘hard to reach’ and as such local volunteers have been working with Openreach to deliver a solution which the market would not otherwise cater for. Every home in the proposed area will see an improved service under this plan but around 80% of premises will receive 24Mb the threshold at which a premises is deemed to be ‘superfast’.
The cost of the project will be met entirely by local residents and therefore the more people who join in and contribute the better and less expensive it will become for all.
This is of course no small undertaking and has only been made possible by the very hard work and dedication of the project team.
This project will help to shape the New Forest Community Broadband Toolkit; a guide to help other parishes should they wish to undertake a similar scheme. This will follow in the spring.
For further details of this project and to register your interest visit http://www.hydecommunityprojects.org.uk/#!the-broadband-project-/d8xoz
Broadband Update and Community Engagement Plan Launch
On 28 January, Brand New Forest held a Community Broadband Event in Minstead Hall. The event was attended by 200 individuals and included presentations from Hampshire County Council, New Forest Hotels and the Brand New Forest Broadband Development Group (see copies of presentation slides below).
Throughout the evening, a number of aspects of Broadband were discussed including the rollout of the current BDUK contract, ways in which community groups can provide their own (private) solutions and technologies which can be utilised to provide services to those ‘hard to reach’ areas.
Videos and slides from the Community Broadband Event
Below are videos and presentation slides from the Community Broadband Event in Minstead. To access to presentation slides for each, click on the title immediately above each video.
Registration of Interest
As we work to develop the Brand New Forest Broadband Plan, we’re keen to have as much community involvement as possible. Therefore if you’re interested in helping us to work towards improving the broadband provision throughout the New Forest then please register your interest below.