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UPDATE BT Signs £40m Suffolk UK Superfast Broadband Contract

Friday, December 21st, 2012 (2:09 pm) - Score 1,484
bt rural fibre broadband cabinet uk

BT and the Suffolk County Council (SCC) have today signed a new £40 million contract that will use government state aid from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office to help make superfast broadband (25Mbps+) ISP services available to 85-90% of local homes and businesses by the end of 2015 (but it use to be June 2015).

The roll-out will be dominated by BT’s up to 80Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) and 330Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) based technologies and only 2% of the “hardest to reach premises” are expected to be left with sub-5Mbps speeds (note: from spring 2013 anybody with an FTTC line will also be able to get FTTP).

Back in September 2012 the SCC anticipated that the first premises to be connected through its Better Broadband For Suffolk programme would do so by the end of 2012, although there’s no mention of this in today’s press release (i.e. it won’t happen until 2013). We also noticed that the predicted overall end date has shifted from June 2015 to the “end of 2015“.

Bill Murphy, Managing Director of BT’s NGA Divison, said:

This is great news for Suffolk. The county is ambitious for economic growth and higher-speed broadband services are crucial for delivering that by helping to retain and grow small businesses, providing access to a global online market for entertainment and business opportunities and creating jobs.

Fibre broadband will bring Suffolk’s predominantly rural economy into the digital fast lane – revitalising small towns, villages and hamlets by making it possible to start and run a connected business from these locations and in the long-term, ensuring local people don’t suffer from a digital divide.”

Mark Bee, Suffolk County Council’s Leader, said:

When we launched the Better Broadband for Suffolk campaign, we wanted to ensure that everyone who lives and works in our county benefits. Today I’m proud to say that, with BT, we aim to deliver exactly that.

Improving access to broadband is going to help Suffolk’s economy grow by as much as 20% and create up to 5000 new jobs. There’s a digital divide between Suffolk and the rest of the country but an even more acute disparity between urban and rural Suffolk. The Better Broadband programme is going to close those gaps, boost school attainment and help the public sector to deliver services more efficiently and cheaply.”

The Better Broadband for Suffolk ‘intervention area’ (i.e. where public money can be used to improve the service) is roughly 39% of Suffolk (134,500 properties).By March 2014, the entire Waveney Local Enterprise Zone area is also expected to have access to superfast speeds.

BT informed ISPreview.co.uk that a firm start date for the roll-out has yet to be set.

UPDATE 3:26pm

Added details from the official press release.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Phil

    First it Norfolk and now it Suffolk, who next Chrisfolk ???

  2. Jim

    what about sorting out Cambridgeshire next

  3. Bob

    The real question is that given BT are struggling now to rollout exchanges(Based on Quarterly rollout schesule they are only completing about 50% in the timescale)
    Are they going to be able to take on the BDUK work in the committed timescales?
    At the moment all the indications are they cannot.

    • TheFacts

      Only to you Bob. Look at how many premises are being ‘passed’ now.

      Would it help you if they did not publish a schedule?

  4. hugo

    where can I find out if and when my house might be connected to the fibre optic grid?

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