When is Beaulieu getting High Speed Broadband? One of the most frequently asked question of councillors on the Beaulieu PC.
The Story so far ...
We have followed the roll out of rural broadband since the start, attending a meeting last year with the government minister Maria Miller at Winchester. There have been group meetings for our Parish, East Boldre, Denny Lodge and Exbury and we are in a bidding group, organised by Jim Mitchell of the NPA, making application to the Rural Communities Broadband Fund for extra funding to reach the difficult parts of the Parish (Those a long way from the telephone exchange with possibly old and poor quality cable)
Phase 1 of Hampshire Superfast Broadband Programme is going live during January and March 2014.
BT Openreach will install new equipment across parts of Basingstoke & Dean, Gosport, Hart and the New Forest. Speeds will be a minimum of 24 Mbps
Phase 2 will go live between April and June. However at the time of writing only Totton in the New Forest has been covered by Phase1 but an announcement on Phase 2 is imminent. We await good news!
Regarding our application for additional funding for rural areas (for those who would not be reached by the main scheme funding) we have gone in with Hampshire CC. They are the applicant to DEFRA and are bidding for£1,000,000 funding across several of the Forest Parishes. It has only just been agreed between HCC and BT Openreach as to which properties in the New Forest would apply, based on eligibility and their assessment of value for money and ability to deliver in the timescale. The final details of which postcodes have been selected is not available at this stage, however the vast majority of properties are in the three parishes of Beaulieu, Denny Lodge and East Boldre.
Update ... On Friday 28th Feb. Hampshire County Council submitted a RCBF bid for 2117 properties in the parishes of the New Forest, mostly in Beaulieu. East Boldre and Denny Lodge. I am informed we will find out if we are successful in around a months time. HCC have advised that the RCBF end of project deadline has been extended to the end of December 2015. BT have said that the latest they will do work if successful is June-December 2015. So still a fair way off but underway!