PASSFIELD residents are urged to apply for vouchers to get faster internet connectivity before the government fund for such projects runs out.
About 500 homes in the hamlet suffer ‘slow and problematic’ internet because it runs through 60-year-old phone lines.
Smallworld IT of Passfield Business Park was founded by owner Julian Small of Passfield, who is campaigning for the system to be upgraded to provide full fibre (Ultrafast) internet.
He said: “I would say 80 per cent of the village find it challenging to work from home, shop online and home educate children, which is currently a big issue . It’s very frustrating.
“Openreach has quoted £675,000 to upgrade the system; this can be met by government vouchers so there is no cost to the property owner.”
Each voucher is worth £3,000 a home, and £3,500 for business, but only those who apply for one will be able to get Ultrafast if it is installed.
Enough vouchers need to have been allocated to meet the cost of improving the system before any upgrade can begin.
Fellow campaigner Paul May said: “The problem is compounded now as parents and school children are trying to work from home during the lockdown.
“The government has pledged funds to rural areas with sub-standard connectivity.
“Allocation of these funds is based on local demand, so it is vital that people sign up for the vouchers.
“The response so far has been good, but we are not over the line yet and the government fund won’t be around forever. We also need to exceed the Openreach figure as some contingency is essential.”
The campaigners also urge people with Superfast broadband to apply for a voucher to get an upgrade to Ultrafast.
People can sign up for a voucher by visiting www.openreach.com/connectmycommunity