BT on Wednesday switched on its first fibre-connected cabinet in rural Isle of Wight as part of the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

The cabinet, located in Shorwell towards the southwest of the small island, will provide high-speed broadband to around 240 residents and businesses. It is the first of five areas in rural parts of the Isle of Wight to be connected during phase one of the fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) deployment. The U.K. incumbent said consumers will be able to order high-speed broadband services from BT and other providers within the next few days.

"This will bring significant benefits to people in these areas and should over time assist with attracting inward investment and providing a real boost for business and tourism," said Shirley Smart, Isle of Wight councillor for economy and tourism, in a statement.

The rollout is being funded by a public-private partnership between the Isle of Wight Council, which is investing £2.4 million – match-funded by BDUK – and BT, which is stumping up £2.7 million.

"The broadband partnership will ensure more households are able to benefit from high-speed broadband, whether they are using the Internet for research and online training or just browsing for entertainment and leisure purposes," said Bill Murphy, managing director of next-generation access at BT.

BT said the project aims to connect 20,000 rural premises by autumn 2015. Its commercial FTTC network already covers 49,000 premises, located predominantly in larger conurbations. By the end of its rollout programme, BT said 95% of Isle of Wight premises will have access to high-speed broadband.