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Pressure grows for faster broadband across Hampshire
11:35am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in Business
HAMPSHIRE County Council could roll out ‘superfast’ broadband to most of the county by 2015.
Cllr Jackie Porter, ward councillor for the Itchen Valley, asked council leader Ken Thornber how committed the council was to providing broadband of 24MB per second to the majority of the county.
At a full council meeting, she said: “How successful have the efforts been to encourage the public to sign up to faster broadband and how quickly will the council get residents on to a meaningful quality of broadband?”
She added several residents in her ward were unable to access broadband at speeds of one MB per second and council data estimates 13,000 properties in Hampshire can only get two MB per second.
Council leader Ken Thornber said he wanted to deliver superfast broadband across the county as soon as possible but it depended on help from the European Union.
He said: “We are planning to find a supplier to deliver faster broadband services in Hampshire and we plan to commence the search in October 2012.
“But issuing this technology is subject to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport receiving the required state aid from the EU.”
If the council is able to tender the service this autumn it estimates work could begin in March 2013 and be completed by 2015.
Cllr Thornber added: “The county council has received over 14,000 registrations from residents and businesses interested in getting faster broadband. It’s essential we deliver superfast broadband and we hope to do so to 80 per cent of properties in Hampshire by 2015.
“We are working closely with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to raise that figure to 90 per cent as soon as possible.”