Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Olympics high-speed internet hope for Dorset

View of the site for the new Portland marina
The new sailing academy opened at the end of 2008

Businesses are being urged to back a campaign which hopes to secure high-speed internet access across Dorset.

Sailing events for the 2012 Olympic Games will be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, where broadband will be installed.

Dorset County Council said it presented "a unique opportunity" to fast-track a high quality broadband provision to homes and business across the county.

Feedback on the proposals can be registered until 31 January.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) was one of the first UK venues to be ready for the 2012 Olympic Games.

A fibre optic connection to support communication during the games will be installed by British Telecom (BT) at the site.

'Big opportunities'

Team Dorset, a partnership working to build a "lasting legacy" to the 2012 games in the county, developed the hi-speed digital Dorset connectivity survey as part of its case.

It said its aim was to get an idea of demand from across the Dorset economy to help with a proposal.

The benefit would be shared across Dorset
Miles Butler, Dorset County Council

Statistics released showed that 50% of main users of the internet are general consumers, with 30% in the public sector and 20% businesses.

Miles Butler, Dorset County Council director of environment, said that getting more of Dorset hooked up to high-speed broadband presented one of the "big opportunities" of the games.

He said: "The benefit would be shared across Dorset - including rural areas that don't currently have good web access - not just the host towns of Weymouth and Portland.

"The support of businesses is crucial in providing a strong business case of Dorset's potential online demand to influence BT and other communication providers to further invest in our digital infrastructure."

Businesses have until 31 January to complete the survey .

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