HAMPSHIRE is one of the counties that are set to benefit from a £22m project to improve internet speeds in rural areas.

Extra money is being pumped into the government’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which aims to subsidise the cost of building gigabit-capable broadband networks in more remote parts of the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to bring gigabit-speed broadband to the whole of the UK in the next five years.

New Forest Post:

Gigabit broadband would make it possible to download an HD movie in less than 30 seconds.

Reliable broadband become even more important for households across the country, with millions of people having to work from home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport says 250,000 homes and businesses are expected to be eligible from 17 English councils.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman is urging businesses and communities to apply for the vouchers.

“This government is determined to connect every home and business to the fastest broadband speeds available from the Highlands to the Jurassic Coast,” he said.

“But we can only do this with collaboration at a local and national level so I’m delighted English councils have committed to pump more money into our voucher scheme to help rural communities get gigabit speed broadband.

“A quarter of all properties across the UK can now access these fast and reliable speeds, and we have earmarked a further £5 billion so rural towns and villages across the four nations can get the speeds they need to seize all the benefits of new technology.”

New Forest Post:

The vouchers are worth up to £1,500 for rural homes and up to £3,500 for small and medium-sized businesses in rural areas, provided they apply as a collective of two or more properties.

Hampshire is one of almost 20 areas across the country that are set to benefit from the scheme.

An Ofcom spokesman said: “More than nine in 10 UK households can now get superfast broadband, but some areas still struggle for a decent connection.

“Since March, anyone who is unable to get a decent broadband service has the legal right to request one.”