Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Isle of Wight set to get "super-fast" fibre broadband

The Isle of Wight could have "super-fast" fibre broadband installed across the island.

BT is already installing faster broadband in "commercially viable areas" such as homes and businesses in Newport, Cowes and Ryde.

The council has now proposed to invest an extra £3m to ensure all homes and business across the island will get the same service.

In total £15m will be spent on faster broadband on the island.

It will include government and council money as well as investment from the private sector.

George Brown, Isle of Wight Council's deputy leader, said the £3m investment figure was agreed at a meeting on Tuesday.

'Even playing field'

He said: "BT's massive investment is very good news but would not provide the total solution as it would not bring super-fast broadband to some of the island's significant towns nor its rural areas.

"What we are proposing will mean that rather than having a two-speed island, we will have super-fast broadband available to everyone wherever they live or work."

Norman Arnold from the Isle of Wight branch of the Federation of Small Businesses, which represents about 1,000 companies, said: "We have some of the country's best small and specialist enterprises here on the Island.

"Many are at a disadvantage because of the Solent, many more because of the slow speed of communications and lack of bandwidth.

"All we need is an even playing field and we can compete with anybody. This investment will help us greatly in that respect."

If the investment is approved when the council sets its budget, installation work could begin in the spring of 2013.

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