BT fibre optic broadband reaches first Isle of Wight rural community

Once the roll-out of superfast broadband’s completed, around 20,000 homes and business on the island - many of them in rural and remote areas - will have a much wider choice of internet services.

The first rural community to be connected as part of a multi-million pound scheme on the Isle of Wight can now access superfast fibre optic broadband.

BT announced today that fibre technology installed at a street cabinet on Farriers Way in the village of Shorwell is now live, meaning more than 240 homes and businesses will be able to sign up for much faster internet from a range of providers within the next few days.

Shorwell's going to be the first of many places in rural areas connected to fibre by the joint venture between BT, the Isle of Wight council and the UK government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, which is set to connect around 20,000 premises by the end of 2015.

Combined with BT's own network upgrades, it'll mean 95% of homes on the island will have access to superfast fibre optic broadband.

Isle of Wight councillor, Shirley Smart, said: "This is terrific news. We can now look forward to many residents and businesses in rural areas being connected up over the coming months.

"This will bring significant benefits to people in these areas and should over time assist with attracting inward investment and providing a real boost for business and tourism."

Ed Vaizey, the UK's communications minister, added: "This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband on the Isle of Wight, and we're on track to deliver access to superfast speeds to 95% of UK homes and businesses by 2017."

Earlier this month, we reported that the £1.7billion nationwide roll-out was said to be "firmly on track" and reaching up to 40,000 households each week. So, if your area's not yet been upgraded, you might not have too much longer to wait.

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