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

Tuesday, Sep 18th, 2012 (9:07 am) - Score 760

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.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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