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First community to benefit from Hampshire's £1m scheme

Wednesday 16th August, 2017

First community to benefit from Hampshire's £1m scheme

Residents of a group of 17 properties in Silchester, near Tadley are the first community to be taking part in Hampshire County Council's £1m broadband match funding scheme to bring superfast to their community.

The Community Match Funding scheme applies to locations which won't be covered by the Hampshire Superfast Broadband programme - which will provide 97.4% of the county with superfast broadband access by 2019. The County Council will provide up to half of the funding to match money raised by communities, to help connect the remaining 2.6% of communities in areas which are generally harder and more expensive to reach.

Not involved in any fibre broadband rollout plans, the Silchester community are the first to strike a co-funded partnership deal with Openreach, via the council's new scheme.  

Mr Kneller led the broadband campaign for his community and said “Superfast broadband will make a big difference to us. I’d like to work from home sometimes, and at the moment that just isn’t possible. My family would also like to be able to stream films and use catch-up services, and do things like book holidays online. Ultimately it’s what most people now take for granted.”

Leader of Hampshire County Council, Councillor Roy Perry, said: “Good broadband access is fundamental - people rely on the internet everyday, whether it’s for banking and shopping, or learning and working from home. Not only is it vital for the economy of Hampshire, it is also an effective way of delivering modern and accessible public services. This money will allow more people to benefit from what is rapidly becoming an essential service.”

Steve Haines, Openreach's managing director for next generation access, said: “It is great to be able to work with Hampshire County Council and communities like Silchester to find a fibre broadband solution. Openreach is committed to making fibre broadband as widely available as possible for households and businesses. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people interact online.”

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