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£12m Deal for BT Superfast Broadband in Milton Keynes and Bedfordshire

Thursday, August 29th, 2013 (3:00 pm) - Score 1,816

The Milton Keynes Council, Central Bedfordshire Council and Bedford Borough Council in England have today signed a new state aid supported £12m deal that will see BT expand the reach of its fibre optic based broadband (FTTC/P) network to cover “around” 91% of local premises (33,000) by spring 2016.

It’s anticipated that the project will provide a “fibre broadband” infrastructure to around 33,000 premises, of which roughly 32,000 will have access to superfast speeds of at least 24Mbps (the rest will get download speeds of at least 2Mbps).

The scheme is funded by £6.2m from BT, £2.4m from Milton Keynes Council, £1.2m from Central Bedfordshire Council, £0.44m from Bedford Borough Council and finally £2m will also come from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget.

David Hopkins, MK Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said:

Today’s contract signing is another vital step towards achieving our ambitious goal for local broadband coverage. Good broadband helps economic growth, and businesses and residents have told us that building a better and faster broadband service should be a priority. By signing this new contract, we’re well on the way to making superfast broadband a reality for many more people across the area’s towns and villages.”

Bill Murphy, MD of BT’s NGA Division, added:

This is great news for the people living in these areas. It is important to support local economies, as well as helping new development and infrastructure in these communities. This is where fibre broadband can play an essential role by revitalising towns, villages and hamlets, helping businesses to be connected in these locations.”

Unfortunately the press release doesn’t include any timetable for BTOpenreach’s initial survey work or the first connections and we are chasing BT for some indication.

UPDATE 3:01pm

BTOpenreach is expected to start its survey work immediately and this will last for 6-9 months (spring 2014), although some deployments are also predicted to begin within that timeframe and the operator suggests that the first locations for connections could then be announced within 6 months (Q1-2014).

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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.
Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Rich says:

    I think they need to ask everyone to check behind their couches as well, we could probably scrap together another £0.5m for a speedier rollout.

    Anyone else think this is all a bit of a joke with how messy it is!

    1. MikeW says:

      The administration of all these projects, in a contract/financial sense, is indeed messy. However, from an operational perspective, each one essentially just adds another few hundred cabinets into the existing plan+build process.

      But messy or not, these BDUK projects have added up to be worth near £1.8bn. Not to be sneezed at!

  2. dragoneast says:

    When has there ever been an infrastructure upgrade which hasn’t been “messy”?

    Look at a map of the country, development is “messy”. Humans are like that, we have it in common with the rest of the animal kingdom.

    I suspect that in historic terms the broadband roll-out has been quick. The problem is that it’s been governed by commercial considerations – but they’re no more capricious than political considerations which would have governed things otherwise. If you ignore practical considerations and cost you can do anything. Well, in theory.

    The real problem is that humans are remarkably poor at communication, so the poor public never know what’s going on. But most of them, most of the time, aren’t interested anyway.

  3. Roberto says:

    How is the cost known before the survey work is done?

    1. Roberto says:

      I was hoping a BT supporter or employee would be able to explain this by now, this is not the first instance either where a price has been set before the area has even been surveyed. Is all their pricing just pure guess work?

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