Broadband is now considered essential infrastructure that delivers economic benefits to individuals and communities. It streamlines job searching and applications, benefits businesses with e-recruiting and remote positions, and democratises access to education, fostering social supports and a broader social network. Broadband also plays a crucial role in improving social outcomes, including health.

One family-run company is working with communities to bring faster broadband to more locations across the South West. Wessex Internet, based in Dorset, has an exclusive focus on rural areas and first-hand experience of the impact of the digital divide on its neighbours.

Dedicated to connecting even the most remote villages, Wessex collaborates with communities to identify 'not-spots' that other broadband companies are unable or unwilling to reach. Proving its cost-effective approach to installing glass fibre internet connections in the most in rural areas across Dorset, Hampshire, Wiltshire and South Somerset, Wessex now aims to expand and accelerate its roll-out strategy.

The business has now secured £35m of new funding, including a loan from Triodos Bank UK, which will support the business’s long term growth plans. It is a significant financial milestone that will bolster Wessex Internet's mission to delivering superfast fibre internet to rural locations cost-effectively.

“Wessex Internet has proven its model by successfully installing high-speed internet connections to some of the most rural properties in Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, and Somerset,” remarks Amandine Tetot, Head of Project Finance at Triodos Bank UK. “We’re pleased to provide finance to accelerate its expansion and roll-out strategy, allowing more businesses and households to cross the digital divide. Promoting inclusion in society is a strategic priority for us, and supporting broadband infrastructure enables more people to fully participate in an increasingly digital society.”

Hector Gibson Fleming, Wessex Internet CEO, emphasises the importance of the finance: “As a company, we remain committed to our vision of delivering full fibre broadband to underserved rural communities across the South West. This additional capital investment and senior debt facility enable us to rapidly scale our operations and accelerate our roll-out across the region. We are delighted to partner with Triodos, a bank that focuses on delivering positive change and shares our vision of removing the digital divide for our local communities.”.