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Kent and Medway UK Award GBP40m Superfast Broadband Contract to BT

Monday, March 18th, 2013 (10:38 am) - Score 3,027

The Kent County Council (KCC) in England has this morning awarded a £39.47 million contract, which will ensure that 91% of local homes and businesses gain access to superfast broadband ISP speeds of 25Mbps+ by the end of 2015, to BT.

The partnership, which effectively became inevitable after it was confirmed last week that Fujitsu UK had pulled out of the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) process (here), is backed by £10m of council funding and £9.87m from the central government (BDUK). The remaining £19.6m will come from BT.

Under the plan some 95% of local premises should be in range of BT’s fibre optic based broadband (FTTC and FTTP) services, although only 91% will actually get “superfast” speeds. The remaining 9% can expect to receive a minimum internet download speed of at least 2Mbps (Megabits per second).

Bill Murphy, BT’s MD for Next Generation Access, said:

This is a fantastic achievement for Kent and will position the county as a broadband leader – and ahead of the chasing pack. BT is delighted to be partnering them on this far-reaching plan.

This beautiful county, home to the iconic White Cliffs of Dover, will now start to see high-speed fibre broadband roll-out extended and this will enable more local businesses to think global as well as enhancing education and transforming the way consumers use the internet.”

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, added:

Kent is now well and truly on the way to providing better broadband access and speeds to the entire county. This project will deliver superfast broadband to thousands of homes and businesses and bring a massive boost to the local economy, as well as making things like gaming, watching BBC iPlayer or downloading films much quicker and hassle-free.”

BTOpenreach will now begin sending out surveyors to plan the first phase of the build, which is expected to get underway in 2014 as “hundreds of miles of fibre are installed“. It’s claimed that the new development could help to boost the local economy by £1.5bn each year.

However it should be said that Kent is also home to a number of Fixed Wireless Access ISPs, such as VFast (OrbitalNet), which already claims to reach a significant part of the county with similar speed services.

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