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BT Promises Speeds of up to 80Mbps for 90% of Rutland UK by Q4 2013

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 (2:37 pm) - Score 886

BT has pledged to make superfast broadband (FTTC) ISP speeds of up to 80Mbps (Megabits per second) available to over 90% of Rutland’s (England, UK) 17,000 homes and businesses by the end of 2013. The plan was announced today during a contract signing event between BT and Rutland County Council (RCC), which was held at the historic Oakham Castle.

RCC originally confirmed that the contract for its Digital Rutland project (Local Broadband Plan), which is said to be worth £3 million, had been awarded to BT in March (here). The council’s plan effectively mirrors the UK governments goal of making superfast broadband (24Mbps+) ISP services available to 90% of premises by 2015, although BT looks set to achieve the target two years earlier than that.

BT is expected to contribute £800k to the project, with £2.2m coming from the council and £710k from the governments Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. The council also revealed that they’re intending to roll-out fibre optic broadband to a further 7% of the county within the same timescale by using “additional sources of funding” (details remain scarce).

Bill Murphy, Managing Director of NGA at BT, said:

Today Rutland becomes known as “Digital Rutland”. This project will place Rutland on the UK broadband map and we are delighted to work with Rutland County Council to make it happen.

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so Rutland consumers and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market – where people aren’t stuck with one broadband provider and can choose the package and price that suits them.”

Deputy Leader for Rutland County Council, Terry King, said:

Rutland is a sparse rural area and getting high-speed affordable fibre broadband to 97% of the county will make a huge difference to the long-term prospects of the area and quality of life for all.

Broadband coverage in Rutland is poor and in some areas very poor, which is why we need a solution like this for the whole county addressing ‘not spots’ and areas the market will not penetrate. This will provide benefits for the wider community such as developing education through e-technology and giving residents access to new models of care and social interaction.”

BT has pledged that any home or business not covered by the new service will be “connected using alternative broadband technologies” and they will also ensure that all areas receive a minimum download speed of 2Mbps by the end of 2013. The operator has further promised to make speeds of up to 300Mbps through its FTTP-on-Demand service, which is due to launch next Spring 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, which seems to be a two horse race between BT and a somewhat experimental rural FTTH project from Fujitsu. So far Fujitsu has yet to win any contracts and continues to keep fairly tight lipped about its plans, which will do little to boost confidence.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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