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UPD West Sussex UK Sign £20.1m BDUK Contract for BT Superfast Broadband

Wednesday, May 15th, 2013 (8:40 am) - Score 890
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The West Sussex County Council (WSCC) in southern England has today signed a new £20.1 million state aid supported contract with BT that will aim to make superfast broadband (25Mbps+) ISP connections available to 98% of local premises by the “start” of Spring 2016 (the rest will get at least 2Mbps).

The West Sussex Better Connected project will be jointly funded by £6,260,000 from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office and this has already been matched by the county council. Additional funding will also be provided by BT (£7.6m) and possibly through other initiatives too.

Lionel Barnard, WSCC Deputy Leader, said:

We are delighted to have entered into a partnership arrangement with BT that will significantly increase the county’s opportunity to grow its economy, and help all residents to enjoy the benefits of being online. West Sussex County Council is very aware of the problems that slow speeds or in some cases, no broadband at all can cause local businesses and people working and running businesses from home. This was a key rationale behind the Council’s decision to invest more than £6 million to provide more access to better, faster broadband across the county. We are now looking to BT, having won the contract, to deliver services to those areas which we know are without.”

Bill Murphy, MD of NGA for BT, added:

This is super news for the people of West Sussex. The county is mainly rural and over half of it lies in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There is a need to balance new development and infrastructure needed by communities to reduce congestion and support a vibrant local economy while maintaining the character of the county. This is where fibre broadband can play a key role, for example, by revitalising small towns, villages and hamlets by making it possible to start and run a connected business from these locations.”

As usual most of BT’s work will focus on the deployment of their dominant up to 80Mbps FTTC service and some areas may benefit from their top 330Mbps capable FTTP solution. It should also be said that BT’s new FTTP-on-Demand (FoD) solution will eventually become available to order on all FTTC lines (it’s currently being rolled out), although this requires you to pay for the “last mile” style installation costs and that could run into thousands of pounds (details).

The first priority for BTOpenreach after today’s contract signing will be to begin the geographical survey work necessary to plan how to build the new telecommunications infrastructure. The official announcement is due later today and we’ll update this article once the final details are known.

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Mark Jackson
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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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Bob

    This just confirms yet again that we have no completion in the wholesale FTTC/P market place. Every single contract has gone to BT that has to indicate that we lack completion and do not have a level playing field.

    The key to getting good take up of Fibre is good availability and competition. With no completion BT does not need to worry about FTTP. It makes the token effort of offering if you slip them a couple of grand

    What may happen though in the near future is Sky may steal a march on BT. Once FTTC take up gets to about 30% the viability of full FTTP becomes attractive particularly if you are not stuck with a legacy copper network

  2. Avatar JNeuhoff

    @Bob: Most people in the UK are stuck with legacy copper wires, including the VDSL which in the UK is misleadingly called a fibre-optic service when it isn’t.

    I agree though with you about BT: No surprise here, they get more public funding, and the funding agencies, including the taxpayers, get no shares in return.

  3. Its not that BT need this funding to do FTTC, they don’t.
    The secret to it all is that if BT can get the councils onside and give them the funding then it stops altnets getting any, and that means they have no competition and can continue to exploit the copper legacy network and stop us moving into the future for another decade.

    • Avatar TheFacts

      So explain how an ‘altnet’ is going to roll out FTTP over a large area for the funding available and find enough people to pay £37/month for 10M.

      Nobody other than you cares how a service is delivered, it’s what it is that matters.

  4. Attractive section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your
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