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South Yorkshire UK Digital Region Broadband Network Tenders for a Partner

Thursday, May 17th, 2012 (1:20 pm) - Score 917
digital region south yorkshire uk

The financially scarred Digital Region project, which was built with £100m of public subsidy to help 80% of premises in South Yorkshire (UK) gain access to superfast broadband ISP services and act as an alternative wholesale supplier to BT, has effectively put up the FOR SALE sign (tender) in the hope of finding a new partner.

The service, which lost £9.2m last year and only created revenue of £167,000 (here), managed to secure another life saving injection of £10m from the public pursue in March 2012 (here). But the extra funds will only keep the network alive until the end of 2012 and in the meantime Digital Region must find a private company (e.g. ISP) that would be willing to operate its network for the next 7 years (note: public funds could still be used in support).

Digital Region Statement (The Star):

We are currently carrying out a commercially sensitive process and are unable to disclose further details at this time. A range of options is being considered that will provide the best possible outcome for the project.”

The project appears to be leaving as many options on the table as possible and its tender even points to “the possibility of title transfer of network” (i.e. less of a partnership and more of a takeover). However, finding a new owner could be difficult, especially since they’d need to take on responsibility for “all of the revenues, costs and risks“. Eeek.

Any new owner would also have the tricky task of tackling the networks core problem, low take-up. None of the big UK ISP have shown much interest, which is partly because of growing competition from similar BT services and a lack of effective advertising. Simply finding a new owner isn’t going to solve that unless the partner happened to be one of those big ISPs, which is at best a long shot.

Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Sheffield Owl

    I hope its not going to the wall,I was going to sign up in about 6 weeks..

  2. Avatar Ross

    I am signed up with digital region and the have speeds of 37Mb down and 7Mb up.

    People need to sign up for this service as any costs to the tax payer are only down to low take up figures.

    Articles like this should be pointing to where you can get this great service! see below link for info:

    http://www.digitalregion.co.uk/get-connected

    Let get behind the DR project and support South Yorkshire into the new digital age 🙂

    • Avatar Shaun Wilson

      To be honest,this whole situation is really pissing me off, becasue the problem is so obvious and easy to resolve.

      Do you want to know why people are not signing up?……nobody knows about it! The whole infrastructure is based around 1 personing somehow finding out and then recommending friends, totolly niaive!

      Furthermore, the pricing policy and service of the current ISP’s is poor at best and i have found through my own experience that unless you (the customer) persisits and pushes for answers nothing happens, again simple to resolve.

      I almost wish that i could afford to become an ISP because with my business skills and service ethic i could become very rich.

      This is a crying shame and a simple common sense approach would generate a network that South Yorkshire could be proud about and boast to the rest of the country.

      Shaun

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