Thousands more Hampshire residents benefit from faster broadband as 10-year programme concludes

Over 115,000 extra Hampshire households and businesses are now benefitting from faster internet speeds and better internet connectivity thanks to a ten-year, £40m superfast broadband programme in Hampshire. Additionally, over one million metres of fibre optic cable are now in place and 1,200 new network points have been installed in 260 parishes

Dec 12 2023

An Openreach broadband cabinet on the right in a residential street with houses in the background on the left

In a new report considered by Hampshire County Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday 12 December, setting out the programme's successes, the scheme has now exceeded its target by improving speeds for almost 98% of premises across the county that would have otherwise missed out on being upgraded by service providers without public subsidy, due to the lack of commercial viability – up from 80% in 2012. 

Councillor Rob Humby, Leader of Hampshire County Council, said: “Being able to connect digitally is vital for so many reasons in our day-to-day lives – for things like making health appointments, staying connected with friends and family, working from home, and managing finances or online banking. More and more, we are becoming a fully digital society, socially, domestically and commercially so it is really good to know that our £12.9 million investment, together with that from central Government, the county’s borough and district councils and our commercial partner, Openreach, has been well placed and very well spent. 

“I’m ambitious for all of Hampshire to have equal access to higher broadband speeds, and there’s still work to be done to improve speeds for around 20,000 Hampshire properties (the remaining 2.2%) who are still only accessing speeds below 24Mbps. This has to be a priority and I’m reassured that it looks set to be realised as part of Government’s national Project Gigabit initiative.”

Gigabit broadband is the next step - replacing the old copper wires and bringing even faster connections. Up to 80% of properties will be upgraded to gigabit speeds via commercial investment from telecoms companies, but for areas that are not commercially viable for an upgrade, the Government has committed £5 billion to Project Gigabit, to address the gap. 

The Hampshire Superfast Programme has worked with Project Gigabit to define the areas that need a subsidy for gigabit broadband. As a result, the Government has confirmed £118 million of direct investment for the county via Project Gigabit as follows:

£14m investment to bring gigabit broadband to 10,000 properties in New Forest, awarded to Wessex Internet
£104m investment to bring gigabit broadband to 75,000 properties across other parts of Hampshire, awarded to CityFibre

It is expected that some of the 2.2% of properties not covered by the superfast programme will be upgraded to full fibre via this next phase of Government investment. 

In addition, BDUK has set up a voucher scheme worth £4,500 per property, for residents and businesses not covered by these contracts to be able to work together and collectively commission broadband providers to install gigabit broadband where it is urgently needed. 

Interested parties should visit the BDUK website for further information which includes details of suppliers taking part in the scheme. 

Residents in New Forest should register with Wessex Internet to find out if they are included in the planned upgrades and those in other parts of Hampshire should register with CityFibre to be kept up to date about coverage plans.