Ultrafast broadband on its way

Broadband InternetProperties in the Forest of Dean will be able to advance even further digitally when they are able to access ultrafast broadband next year.

The work on this part of the project has not yet begun, but it will go out to tender within a few weeks. Residential and business broadband can both be upgraded as part of the scheme. The new part of the initiative will target those homes and businesses that missed out on the first phase, but until the tender process is complete the exact number of properties that will benefit will not be known.

New fibre networks have been put in place to serve the larger urban areas with residential and business broadband; however, some areas of the outskirts and rural areas have missed out during the initial phase of the project. The leader of the county council, Mark Hawthorne, has said that the work will add to the 31,000 properties that have already been connected. Areas that are set to be connected include Coleford, Lydbrook, and Whitecroft. There are a number of areas that were considered to be too difficult to reach for the commercial roll-out.

It is hoped that a provider for the project will be in place by the end of the year. Cable has already been laid by BT and the project allows for hundreds of new fibre cabinets. The target for the project means that potential speeds of 24Mbps should be available to all who need it by 2018, and that all properties should get access to a minimum speed of 2Mbps by the end of 2016.