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Connecting Devon and Somerset UK Scheme Will Hand BDUK Contract to BT

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 (9:07 am) - Score 736

The joint Connecting Devon and Somerset Programme, which aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 25Mbps+ available to 85% of local businesses and homes by 2015 and 100% by 2020, looks set to award its contract to BT next month after Fujitsu UK withdrew.

The confirmation, which was spotted on Trinity Matters by Thinkbroadband, will come as little surprise to most observers. BT is similarly alleged to have been the only supplier to have fully responded to the Invitation to Tender issued on the 29th June 2012, while Fujitsu withdrew from the bidding process “in line with its decision not to respond to any publicly-funded bidding opportunities nationally“.

It goes without saying that this could present the project with a “challenge“, especially when it comes to ensuring that the BT bid is able to return “excellent value for money“; that’s tough if the process never really had any viable competition in the first place.

Last year the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office allocated £31,320,000 of state aid to help slowspot and notspot areas in the two counties where the private sector had previously failed to go, such as rural parts of Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, Somerset andNorth Somerset. At least another £20m+ is expected to come from both local authorities and BT will then be required to roughly match that figure, which could bring the total investment up to around £100m!

A final announcement is expected in October 2012 and then the roll-out itself, subject to EU state aid approval and on-going competition concerns, should hopefully commence during Spring 2013.

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Phil says:

    Why 2020 ? That 8 years long wait while virgin media and other might get 600 Mbps by then!

  2. Am sure BT’s bean counters will have no trouble in shifting £50m around to “demonstrate” match funding! 🙂

  3. Bob says:

    We have no joined up thinking for HS broadband in the UK. We are very much going down the road that Cable TV went only with HS broadband they are going down toan even lower level. Cable TV fragmented between mutiple companies did not work and we can be sure the BDUK schemes will not work. We need a proper joined up strategy across the UK to ensure the UK gets a proper HS system and not a ptachwork of disparate systems, WE also need a proper alternative to BT across the UK and not pretend competition where ISP’s repackage and resell the BT product.

    OFCOM is not doing its job in my view in ensuring fair and equal access to the local loop. BT are still blocking access to their ducting by having complex rules and very high charges. Evidence of that is that their is not a single supplier that has taken up PIA on a commercial basis. All we have are one or two tiny pilot schemes which also involve public subsidy

    1. FibreFred says:

      I don’t think the rules are complex Bob as for the charges Ofcom seem fine with them and I believe some ISP’s are now starting to use PIA

  4. James Green says:

    What about poor old Cornwall…ignored as usual

    1. Pete says:

      James, I think you’ll find that Cornwall has it’s own local project as most areas seem to

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