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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Pick BT for GBP60m Broadband Boost

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 (7:42 am) - Score 520

BT has unsurprisingly been chosen by the joint Cambridgeshire and Peterborough project in England (UK) to help make superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services available to 90% of local premises by 2015 (note: “very nearly” 100% will also get speeds of at least 2Mbps by the same date).

The Connecting Cambridgeshire scheme is said to be a three-year project (i.e. the completion date is probably closer to the end of 2015) and is supported by £20m from Cambridgeshire County Council (CCC), £3m from Peterborough City Council (PCC) and £6.75m from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office; BT is expected to match that and take the total contract value to over £60m.

It was estimated in 2011 that around 140,956 local homes and businesses would need help to get faster broadband services because the private sector had been deemed unlikely to invest in such areas without state aid support.

Nick Clarke, Cambridgeshire County Council Leader, said:

We took a bold approach to get the best broadband deal for the whole of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. Choosing BT as our investment partner means we will be able to achieve our ambitious targets for rolling out better broadband for all by 2015.

We are making a significant investment at a time when public finances are under pressure but this is the right thing to do for the people and businesses of Cambridgeshire – for now and in the long term.

Investing in better broadband is vital to driving local economic growth and building thriving, connected communities across our county. It will help Cambridgeshire and Peterborough businesses to grow and compete, allow more people to work from home and create new jobs.”

As usual the precise details and final funding allocations will not be known until March 2013 when the contract is officially signed, at which point we may see the end date slip into 2016 (much as it has with other BDUK contracts). It’s worth noting that the actual tender document predicted that the total value of the contract over its lifetime was envisaged to be between £70m and £100m.

BT is expected to deploy their usual mix of up to 80Mbps capable FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP fibre optic based broadband ISP technologies in the area.

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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.
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