MORE than 380 homes and businesses in parts of Shorwell and Shalfleet will be the first to benefit under the first phase of the BT and the Isle of Wight Council rural broadband project.
The first cabinets for the Isle of Wight's multi-million pound rural superfast fibre broadband are now being installed and the first customers will be able to order high speed broadband this summer, according to the council.
A spokesman said they estimated that by autumn next year 20,000 homes and businesses on the Island will be able to gain access to superfast speeds.
Parts of Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone and Merstone will benefit later this summer.
The network is open to all broadband internet service providers so customers will have access to a wide choice of broadband providers.
The multi-million pound partnership is jointly funded by the Isle of Wight Council, which is investing £2.4 million to match the funding provided by the UK government through the BDUK programme.
Isle of Wight Council executive member for economy and tourism, Cllr Shirley Smart, said: "This will provide significant benefits for business development on the Island in these communities, particularly in terms of activities such as web sales and supply, file transfer and telecare opportunities, and attracting inward investment to the Island. It should be of particular benefit to the Island's very important tourism industry.
"This project is a major investment by the council in promoting the Island's economy and will ensure fast internet speed in many rural areas," she said.