New Forest latest area in line for Project Gigabit broadband work

The New Forest has become the latest area to benefit from the government’s Project Gigabit after a contract was signed to connect hard to reach properties in the area to gigabit capable broadband. 

A three year contract worth around £14m has been signed between the government and Wessex Internet, which will deliver on the plans to expand its fibre optic network to New Forest and surrounding areas.

green trees on brown field under blue sky during daytime

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: ‘Thousands of hard-to-reach homes and businesses in this stunning area will benefit from a state-of-the-art network ready to provide the speed and reliability we will all need in the decades ahead.’ 

The New Forest population was reported to be around 175,000 people from the most recent census. 

Work by Wessex Internet will also cover the areas of Brockenhurst, Burley, Bealieu, Godshill, Hordle and Sway with the company working alongside Forestry England and the Vereders of the New Forest in order to respect the important natural habitat in the area. 

CEO Hector Gibson Fleming said: ‘We will now work closely with the residents and communities across this beautiful national park to deliver this exciting programme.’ 

He added: ‘This is great news for homes and businesses in the New Forest who will be able to access world-class connectivity and the many economic and social benefits it provides.’ 

Project Gigabit is a £5bn programme from the government which aims to achieve nationwide coverage of gigabit capable broadband by 2030 with an interim target of 85% coverage by the end of 2025. 

Recently signed contracts have included areas of Cornwall and Cambridgeshire with Hampshire, Norfolk and Suffolk all in line for awards by the summer, according to the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology. 

Wessex Internet have also worked on schemes under the project already with work beginning in North Dorset last year. 

Network and broadband coverage in the UK has been a focus point for the DSIT as it looks to connect homes and businesses throughout the country. A £150m investment was also recently announced to support the rollout of 5G and research into next-generation 6G technology.

Photo by Craig Bradford


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