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Digital Region Picks New Operator to Run its South Yorkshire UK Network

Thursday, February 7th, 2013 (3:37 pm) - Score 1,237

The troubled Digital Region (DRL) broadband network, which currently reaches 80% of homes and businesses in South Yorkshire (England), has this afternoon selected Bouygues Energies and Services (ETDE SA) as its “preferred bidder” to take over the running of their business.

The move means that BTWholesale is considerably less likely to win the tender, although there’s still a slim chance that they could sweep the deal out from under BYES feet. Sadly the press release doesn’t go into any further detail.

David Cowell, CEO of Digital Region, said:

The Board were impressed by the high quality of the submissions and are grateful for the diligent and comprehensive approach of both bidders.

The process is still ongoing and DRL will continue to negotiate with BYES to agree a contract ready for execution in the first quarter of 2013.”

Digital Region’s most recent financial statements, for the year ended 31st March 2012, revealed that the network had stacked up an operating loss for the year of £14,285k (£14m), before exceptional costs of £62,936k (here), and was thus continuing to hoover up public money.

The eventual bid winner will be accountable for the network’s revenues, costs and risks. The COO of ISP ASK4, Ross Bray, recently told ISPreview.co.uk that the new owner of DRL must help it become a “credible” and “competitive .. alternative to the standard BT product set” if it is to survive (read our interview). A few extra subscribers wouldn’t hurt.

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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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