Wessex Internet secures new £14M Project Gigabit rural Contract


The expansion of ‘lightning fast’ broadband brings other benefits as the levelling-up agenda rolls out across rural Dorset and the New Forest

Wessex Internet, based in Iwerne Minster, has recently secured a government-funded Project Gigabit contract valued at nearly £14 million to provide around 10,500 homes and businesses in the New Forest with high-speed, full fibre broadband.
It is a significant milestone for the company, demonstrating its ongoing success in bringing state-of-the-art connectivity to rural areas across the south west.
The UK government’s £5 billion Project Gigabit is working to provide gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach communities across the country, supporting economic growth and bridging the digital divide between urban and rural areas.
This is the second Project Gigabit contract awarded to Wessex Internet, which previously secured the UK’s first major Project Gigabit contract in August 2022, connecting over 7,000 properties in North Dorset.
As an independent broadband provider with a founding commitment to connecting Dorset’s rural areas, Wessex Internet’s involvement in Project Gigabit demonstrates the company’s expertise in delivering reliable, high-speed connectivity to even the most remote even the most remote communities in Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and South Somerset.

Gigabit vs full fibre
Generally, Dorset’s rural domestic internet connection is via BT’s ‘full fibre’ network, which is fibre to the cabinet (FTTC). The ‘final mile’ – from the cabinet to the house – is delivered over BT’s standard copper phone lines. Typically, this achieves 50-70 Mb/s depending on the length of the copper. Wessex Internet’s gigabit-capable networks are installed direct to each property, and allow download speeds of up to 900Mb/s.
Gigabit broadband is more than 30 times faster than copper-based superfast broadband, which most rural households and businesses currently rely on. While superfast is fast enough for most people’s needs today, gigabit-capable connections will provide the speeds and reliability needed for decades into the future.

Levelling up
Fast internet doesn’t simply mean an easier online shopping experience (though that’s true). Fast broadband speeds are known to be a key factor in the Levelling Up agenda, with businesses in rural areas hamstrung by limited bandwidth.
Wessex Internet’s strong local presence, along with its passion for connecting the countryside, enables the company to build and maintain relationships with residents and communities, ensuring a more tailored approach to delivering rural broadband services.
It’s not just ‘lightning fast’ broadband, as Boris Johnson called it. It has far-reaching benefits for local business and the community, providing employment opportunities and improved skills for local people.



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