Stella and Brian Wheeler are amongst the first people to get a full fibre broadband connection from Wessex Internet as part of Project Gigabit, the government’s flagship programme to bring lightning-fast gigabit-capable broadband to hard-to-reach communities.
The retired couple, who are in their eighties recently moved to Bishop’s Caundle, a small village in rural North Dorset.
Dog lover Stella, a previous pet shop owner, and Brian a former chartered engineer said:
“When we moved into our new home in July we had no internet at all. In our last place, a nearby village, we’d had four years of a great ultrafast broadband connection with Wessex Internet. It was so difficult having no connectivity in the first few days. But, when we’d found out that Wessex Internet could connect us here too, we were so relieved and very excited too!”
The couple, who have been married for 12 years, use the internet for online shopping and keeping up to date with their interests which includes gardening. They also like spending time with their Cavapoo dog, Benji.
Bishop’s Caundle is one of many rural villages in Dorset benefitting from the £6 million Project Gigabit North Dorset contract awarded to Wessex Internet last year to connect more than 7,000 properties to the digital fast-lane.
Wessex Internet has now completed the first stage of its rollout under this three-year contract and is now connecting homes and businesses in villages such as Alweston, Bishop’s Caundle, Littleton, Lower Blandford St Mary, Okeford Fitzpaine and Shillingstone.
Jez Allman, Chief Commercial Officer at Wessex Internet said:
“We were delighted when the government awarded us the first publicly funded contract when it launched Project Gigabit last year. It means that we can change people’s lives positively as we connect 7,000 homes and businesses across North Dorset to world class broadband.”
Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure Sir John Whittingdale said:
“The difference that fast, reliable broadband makes to local communities is clear to see – especially if you’re in an area where good connectivity has been hard to come by in the past.
“Our £5 billion investment in bringing gigabit-capable broadband to rural areas is changing that, helping people like Stella and Brian and others across the country stay in touch, whilst supporting vibrant local economies.”
Wessex Internet recently won a second government-funded Project Gigabit contract to roll out lightning-fast connectivity to around 10,500 homes and businesses in the New Forest, Hampshire.
For anyone who wants to find out if Wessex Internet is connecting their area, they can use an online coverage checker at www.wessexinternet.com or call 0333 240 7997.