The signing of a £6m contract with Wessex Internet will see rural towns, villages and hamlets across the region from Sherborne to Verwood and Shaftesbury to Blandford Forum hooked up to super-fast broadband.
Wessex Internet and the local authority will now begin planning the construction of the gigabit-capable network, with spades set to enter the ground in the coming weeks.
It marks the start of a flurry of Project Gigabit delivery contracts to be awarded over the coming months.
As part of the programme, the government has already launched procurements totalling over £690m aiming to cover up to 498,000 premises, with work due to begin to connect hard-to-reach areas in Cornwall, Cambridgeshire, Cumbria, and several areas across north east England before the end of the year.
Dorset ranks as the first large-scale scheme under Project Gigabit to deliver gigabit connections to a regional area en-masse.
Hector Gibson Fleming, CEO of Wessex Internet, said: “We’re thrilled to have been awarded the first contract under the government’s £5bn Project Gigabit programme.
“Over the last four years, we have connected thousands of homes and businesses across the South West to full fibre broadband and are excited to accelerate our roll out further with this new contract.”