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UPD £18.06m Brings BT Fibre Broadband to Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire

Monday, Jun 24th, 2013 (10:18 am) - Score 1,071

BT has today signed a new state aid supported £18.06 million deal to make fibre optic based broadband (FTTC/P) services available to more than 90% of premises in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire (England, UK) by the end of March 2016 (the rest will get speeds of at least 2Mbps).

The Connected Counties programme, which aims to help connect an additional 38,500 homes and businesses in Buckinghamshire and 14,000 in Hertfordshire, is funded by £8.6 million from BT, £1.61 million from Hertfordshire County Council, £3.7 million from Buckinghamshire County Council and £4.15 million from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office.

Bill Murphy, BT’s Managing Director of NGA, said:

This is fantastic news and this project will move Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire well and truly into the broadband fast lane. We’re already seeing the positive impact that faster, fibre broadband is having and now, thanks to this partnership, this investment will further boost the position of the two counties as being among the leading creators of new businesses.”

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, said:

This Government is committed to transforming the nation’s Broadband, and today’s announcement is tremendous news for the people of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. This project will deliver a huge boost to the local economy, and more than 52,500 homes and businesses across these “Connected Counties” will be able to enjoy all the benefits that superfast broadband has to offer.”

As usual the deployment will involve a mix of BT’s up to 80Mbps capable FTTC and 330Mbps FTTP technologies. BTOpenreach will now begin work to survey the area and the first areas are predicted to be upgraded in mid-2014.

UPDATE 25th June 2013

Something we’ve been trying to clarify since yesterday is whether or not the 90% figure given above is actually “superfast” (i.e. speeds of greater than 24Mbps) as per the government’s target (a reliable source suggested that it might not be). This is important because if it’s not 90% “superfast” then at least one of the councils would actually be missing the BDUK target for the end of 2015.

We have been prodding BT about this quite a bit and they agree that it should be clarified but apparently the councils don’t want to do that. In the meantime the prodding shall continue.

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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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