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Rutland UK County Council Awards Superfast Broadband Contract to BT

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 (9:49 am) - Score 777

The Rutland County Council (RCC) has awarded the contract for its Digital Rutland project (Local Broadband Plan), which mirrors the UK governments goal of making superfast broadband (24Mbps+) ISP services available to 90% of premises by 2015, to BT (subject to EC State Aid approval).

It’s understood that the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office will contribute £710,000 to the scheme, while the council itself is expected to more than match that by borrowing £2.3 Million. BT will then be expected to match the public funding commitment with its own private investment.

Councillor Terry King, Deputy Leader of RCC, said:

Digital Rutland is about improving the local broadband infrastructure, so that in addition to increasing download/upload speeds locally; it enables any Internet Service Provider to use the new infrastructure to offer competitive and affordable broadband packages.”

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, added:

It is great news that high speed broadband is coming to Rutland. Next generation technology is vital to secure economic growth and local people and businesses are now set to benefit from the huge opportunities provided by the internet. Government wants the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe and I’m delighted that Rutland will be a part of that.”

Rutland, which can be found in central England, is home to a population of over 35,000 and can also claim to have the largest man-made lake in Western Europe (Rutland Water). However, with the exception of some good work by local ISP Rutland Telecom, many parts of the county continue to suffer from poor connectivity.

The local council expects that the new service, once approved, will take just over 12 months to deploy (likely to start in October 2012). This would be in keeping with their original plan, which predicted that the whole county would have high-speed broadband by the end of December 2013.

But critics of the governments Broadband Delivery UK scheme are likely to voice concern over the lack of viable competition in the tender process, with BT having effectively already been picked for both Wales and Scotland’s Highlands & Islands region (here and here). Many people expect BT to win the lion’s share of public funding but it would be good to see some alternative operators, such as Fujitsu, winning a few contracts too.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. an says:

    Giving the contact to rutland telcoms would have been far better for the local economy although they may not have been able to award it due to thier size.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      Did it bid? Does it offer wholesale?

  2. boggits says:

    Rutland would have been excluded due to their size 🙁 Their turnover being lower than the value of the contract would have automatically barred them from the process.

  3. Meanwhile in Devon and Somerset – the Local Broadband Plan is a target for only 85% superfast broadband to be delivered by May 2015 (General Election). That 5% amounts to tens of thousands of premises missing out. So much for a UK Government promise of 90% superfast broadband for the UK. Tavistock for example misses out on any funding and at present does not figure on any roll-out plan.

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