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BT Starts Delayed Deployment of Superfast Broadband in Lancashire UK

Tuesday, Mar 19th, 2013 (1:18 pm) - Score 1,591

The Lancashire County Council (LCC) has confirmed that its state aid supported project with BT, which aims to roll-out superfast broadband (30Mbps+) ISP services to 97% of local homes and businesses, has finally got underway with the first areas being announced. Sadly the end date has also been put back by around one year.

The Superfast Lancashire plan, which was officially agreed almost a year ago (here), originally intended to complete by the end of 2014 but it subsequently suffered due to the delay in gaining state aid approval from the European Commission (EC). As a result the project has now been given a new completion date for the end of 2015.

BT is contributing £30 million to the project and another £10.8 million will come from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. On top of that £16.5 million is expected to come from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and another £5.2 million from local councils (£4.7m from LCC, £300,000 from Blackburn with Darwen Council and £230,000 from Blackpool Council).

It’s understood that work has now started with the planning and building phase in several parts of the county. The initial roll-out phase includes the communities of Caton, Chatburn, Forton and Galgate and affects around 2,500 premises. The first customers are then expected to be connected by September 2013 (further coverage in these areas will also be delivered in future phases).

A similar expansion of BT’s existing fibre optic based broadband (FTTC and FTTP) services will also take place in Blackburn, Burnley, Lancaster and Leyland. In total, the first phase of the project should connect over 13,000 homes and businesses.

Mike Blackburn, BT’s Regional Director for the North West, said:

This ambitious Project will boost the productivity of local businesses and help to attract a more diverse range of high-growth companies to the area. It will play a major role in creating prosperity in the county.

We have been working hard to get us to where we are today. This is an exciting time for Lancashire and the beginning of a journey that will see the communications landscape completely transformed.”

BTOpenreach, over the lifetime of the project, expects to lay around 2,700 kilometres of optical fibre cable in Lancashire and the network is predicted to help create a further 2,500 jobs in the region (on top of protecting another 1,200 jobs). BT expects to install a total of close to 700 new street cabinets in the region.

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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