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South Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Pick BT for Superfast Broadband Contract

Monday, November 12th, 2012 (10:46 am) - Score 566
bt rural fibre broadband cabinet uk

The South Gloucestershire Council (SGC), in partnership with Wiltshire Council (WC), have become the latest local authorities to pick BT as the “preferred bidder” for their joint UK Local Broadband Plan (LBP), which aims to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ available to 90% of local people by spring 2015.

The final contract is expected to be awarded in “earlyDecember 2012, although nobody seriously expects Fujitsu UK (the only other bidder allowed) to win the deal now. Fujitsu has fallen out of favor with the government, hasn’t won any other Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) contracts and generally seems to have given up on the whole process. As a result BT looks set to win the vast majority of public funding, much to the dismay of their critics and smaller competitors.

The procurement process itself is being led by WC with an investment of £15.5m, plus an additional £4.66m from the government’s BDUK office. Meanwhile SGC is investing £2.2m in the district’s broadband provision, alongside £710,000 of BDUK funding. The public subsidy is expected to be matched by private investment from BT.

Cllr John Goddard, Chair of SGC’s Resources Sub-Committee, said:

We were delighted to have joined Wiltshire in selecting BT as our preferred bidder in one of the country’s most advanced broadband development projects. This demonstrates our firm commitment to the modern telecommunications infrastructure that our businesses and communities need.

Delivering broadband improvements remain a high priority for this council and our ambitious project will bring about huge social and economic benefits. We recognise that high speed internet connections are vital for South Gloucestershire’s economic future, and for promoting business growth and encouraging inward investment.”

As usual the project will still need to gain State Aid approval from the European Commission (EC) before it can proceed, although this now looks set to happen very soon with the UK government appearing keen to duck any obvious competition concerns due to BT being the only viable bidder. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this news.

Broadband in South Gloucestershire
http://www.southglos.gov.uk/broadband

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Mark Jackson
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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Bob

    So yet again we have the contract go to BT and yet again we have only one bidder

    Clearly the market has failed and OFCOM now need to step in.The EU is also getting increasingly comncerned about this market failure and may block the BDUK funding unless the issues can be addressed. It defies credibility that there are no other bidders. It can only mean there is not a level playing field

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    I’m not sure the market has failed, just the BDUK process?

  3. Avatar Phil

    BDUK is a waste of time!

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