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UPD BT Sign £24m BDUK Deal to Boost Superfast Broadband in Durham UK

Friday, April 26th, 2013 (10:37 am) - Score 814

The Durham County Council (DCC) in North East England (UK) has today signed a new state aid supported £24 million deal with BT that will see “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC and FTTP) services being rolled out to “around94% of local premises by the end of 2016.

The Digital Durham project, which is expected to help thousands of homes and businesses in the Durham, Gateshead, Sunderland and Tees Valley areas, is supported by an investment of £7.8m from Durham County Council & Gateshead, £9.1m from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office, £5.9 from BT and a £1.3 million contribution from public sector partners in Sunderland and Tees Valley.

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

This project is vital to the future economic strength of all the local authority areas involved in this project. It will go beyond BT’s commercial roll-out of fibre broadband and take faster broadband to areas which are technically and economically more challenging. Reliable access to broadband is an integral part of 21st Century living.

It’s much more than streaming video and music or online shopping: it’s increasingly the way business is conducted and services are delivered. It will enable businesses to compete on a level footing regardless of location – making this large part of the North East a more attractive proposition for business re-locations and start-ups – including the creation of new, high-tech jobs.”

Don McLure, DCC’s Corporate Director of Resources, said:

Breaking down the broadband divide will give our residents, communities and businesses opportunities that they’ve only been able to imagine up till now. Fast and reliable internet is becoming more important to daily life and going online will soon be the only way to access some key public services. Fibre and improved broadband will help us to strengthen our economy, grow and develop our businesses while enhancing community activities. This is an important milestone for all who live and work in this area.”

BT added that the combination of rural, urban and coastal geographies will offer “various engineering challenges” to its rollout of up to 80Mbps FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP technology in the county.

The press release also fails to clearly specify what proportion of that 94% coverage figure will actually receive “super-fast” speeds of greater than 24Mbps and we’ve requested clarification.

UPDATE 12:11pm

We can confirm that the 94% figure is all for superfast speeds.

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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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