Dorset Libraries to Benefit from Faster Internet Speeds

Dorset LIBRARIES have opened a new chapter after enjoying some of the fastest internet speeds in the country.

Fourteen libraries all have fully installed fiber on the premises, offering staff and users speeds of up to 1,000 megabits per second, or one gigabit thanks to £ 200,000 in government funding.

In addition, 18 Dorset Libraries Digital Champions volunteer run free counseling sessions to help people with any tech issues.

In all libraries, staff undergo digital training so that they can help any member of the public who needs help accessing more online services.

Dorset Council Business Development and Transformation Portfolio Holder Cllr Jill Haynes said: “This is fantastic news for these libraries and especially for the residents who use them.

“Libraries offer a wide range of services, more than just borrowing. In addition to a range of activities and events, they offer an online resource of materials such as e-books and magazines and they provide free computers and Wi-Fi to the public.

“As we increasingly move towards a digital world, our library staff and volunteer digital champions also play a vital role in helping people gain the confidence and skills to do more things online. ”

The improved WiFi is also free for residents to use on their own devices, allowing them to work or study flexibly throughout Dorset.

It is hoped that the fiber infrastructure in these areas will make them more commercially viable for further deployment of fiber to surrounding households and businesses. And for areas eligible for funding under the UK Gigabit Voucher, existing fiber should make it more affordable to install fiber in neighboring premises.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: “It is fantastic to see our investment bring Dorset libraries into the gigabit era. The funding will help accelerate the rollout of super-fast broadband connections to homes and businesses across the region.

“This is only part of our national £ 5 billion Gigabit Project mission to upgrade communities across the country with internet speeds that are fit for the future.”

The 14 libraries that now have gigabit broadband connectivity are: Blandford, Crossways, West Moors, Ferndown, Upton, Corfe Castle, Swanage, Weymouth, Colehill, Bridport, Littlemoor, Chickerell, Wyke Regis and Wimborne.

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