BT has officially signed the £45 million Connecting Cambridgeshire contract, which aims to make superfast broadband (25Mbps+) ISP services available to 90% of homes and businesses across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough (England, UK) by the end of 2015 (i.e. 98% will get FTTC but the 8% difference will be sub-25Mbps).
The operator is expected to contribute £16 million to the project and the rest will come from a mix of Cambridgeshire County Council, Peterborough City Council and the Broadband Delivery UK (£6.75 million) office.
As usual BT will use the money to expand the coverage of its existing up to 80Mbps capable FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP fibre optic based broadband ISP technologies, which will focus upon areas that would have otherwise been left neglected by the private sector.
Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:
“The nationwide rollout of superfast broadband is going to deliver massive benefits to businesses and communities across the UK. The UK does more business online than other European country, and it’s estimated that by delivering fibre-based broadband to 98% of Cambridgeshire’s homes and businesses by 2015, we will bring an additional £500 million to the local economy within 5 years of completion.”
Bill Murphy, MD of BT’s Next Generation Access, added:
“This is a great achievement coming just one year after the Connecting Cambridgeshire programme was formed. The Connecting Cambridgeshire programme will open up the county to a wealth of opportunities such as growing business and creating jobs in rural areas, providing health, education and public services in better ways and helping young people and adult learners to develop the skills they need to succeed.”
BTOpenreach will start work on the “large-scale” three-year project immediately with a “period of planning and detailed surveying“, while the first locations are then expected to get superfast broadband later this year. Overall the effort will involve enabling over 100 telephone exchanges and many more street cabinets.