The former railway line through North Dorset could become a fast-track route to superfast broadband for thousands of people living in the area.The Community Partnership Executive for North Dorset (CPEND) has received a positive response to its expression of interest for grant funding from the new DEFRA Rural Communities Broadband Fund for its Trailway Broadband project. The team now needs to establish support and potential subscriber demand, and is asking parish councils and individual residents and businesses for their support.Plans to bring fibre Broadband to rural Dorset involve using the route of North Dorset Trailway from Blandford to Sturminster Newton - an eight-mile stretch linking the villages of Durweston, Stourpaine, Shillingstone, Child Okeford and Okeford Fitzpaine, and serving a population of around 2,200 and 100 businesses. There is also potential to include Manston, Hammoon and Fiddleford.Fund managers have now invited a full application for the project which could also receive private investor backing.The aim of the project is to run a main fibre optic cable up the Trailway with spurs off to terminals in each of the villages from which cables would then be run to each of the premises and businesses, providing future proof superfast broadband to them for the next 20 years or more.The team, spearheaded by the DT11 Forum Community Partnership and its former chairman Steve Adamson, has already had some support from landowners prepared to grant wayleaves over their land for the cable, which will be buried in a narrow trench and be completely hidden from view.
Stourpaine is our village in the Blackmore Vale in North Dorset, England, on the River Stour
The Trailway BroadbandThe Trailway Broadband (for superfast broadband) project is progressing well, but we need help from Stourpaine residents.It would be a great help if you could access the following website: http://northdorsetbroadband.co.uk/survey/ to register your interest.Higher speed broadband will bring a wealth of benefits to rural communities along the Trailway - not just improved services but also potential for new business and job opportunities.
The new Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, has jumped straight in to her new role by unveiling plans to cut the red tape around the deployment of new street side cabinets used to deliver superfast broadband. •Daily Telegraph: Planning changes aim to boost broadband roll-out