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BT Sign GBP27m Contract for Superfast Broadband in Derbyshire UK

Friday, August 9th, 2013 (11:35 am) - Score 565

BT has today signed another state aid supported £27 million scheme with Derbyshire County Council (DCC), which aims to help expand the coverage of their fibre optic (FTTC/P) based broadband network to reach 95% of local premises by the end of 2016.

As usual the Digital Derbyshire scheme, which will bring the service to an extra 88,000 homes and businesses, is jointly funded by £12.87m from BT, £4.9m from the county council and £7.4m is coming from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. An extra £2.5m will also be added from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Bill Murphy, BTs MD of Next Generation Access, said:

Increasingly broadband is at the heart of everything we do – both for work and pleasure and this project will mean a huge step forward for the county as a whole. Small companies dominate the county’s economy with more than 80 per cent employing less than 10 people. In today’s economy a fast and reliable broadband service is vital for their success, and for attracting new inward investment to Derbyshire, which in turn will help to stimulate jobs and growth throughout the county.”

Anne Western, DCC Leader, added:

Today’s contract signing is without doubt the most important step of the Digital Derbyshire project so far.

Residents and businesses have told us in their thousands that they want a better broadband service in Derbyshire – we’ve listened and are making it happen. A fast and reliable broadband service is as important as good road and rail links for businesses in the modern day and that’s why we’ve made it one of our priorities.

It’s vital that our businesses – including those in rural locations – are at least on a level playing field with other areas of the UK and further afield to be able to maintain and create jobs in a thriving Derbyshire economy.”

BTOpenreach will now begin its usual survey work and the first areas are predicted to be upgraded sometime in 2014 (bit vague). We’ve also once again had to ask BT to clarify whether the 95% figure refers to superfast speeds (25Mbps+) or merely the total reach of their fibre network as it sometimes does (FTTC can deliver speeds from 2Mbps and upwards). Update to follow.

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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

    More taxpayer’s money going to a private monopoly company for no ROI.

    1. Avatar TheFacts says:

      The return is that residents of the county benefit, same way as grants to organisations.

      Have you read about the claw back yet?

    2. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      The claw back hinges on the definition of ‘commercial viability’ which BT simply hasn’t made available. There are no published cost-benefits analysis reports by BT. So we can safely assume that almost none of the money will ever come back. And we’ll end with yesterday’s technology (mostlly copper VDSL), with the real issue of deploying proper fibre access networks being postponed by a few years. The latter will have to eventually to be addressed, it should have been dealt with years ago!

    3. Avatar TheFacts says:

      Yes, BT wanted to fibre the UK but the Conservative government would not let them.

    4. Avatar ant says:

      ‘Yes, BT wanted to fibre the UK but the Conservative government would not let them.’

      Huh, when did Cameron say no to that?

    5. Avatar JNeuhoff says:

      The drawback clause has nothing to do with a ROI where all the money would eventually be given back to the funding agencies. Rather, it is only a mechanism getting some money back in the unlikely case of an excess subsidy, based upon any of the following 3 scenarios:
      1) Lowver than expected deployment cost
      2) Higher than expected takup at given points in time
      3) Higher than expected revenues form non-broadband products

      In the vast majority of cases we can expect the taxpayer’s money never to be seen again once given to BT. BT is basically treated here as if they were a poor charity in desperate need of public donations. They are not, BT is a private commercial entity with quarterly revenues far higher than any of the subsidies given to them.

    6. Avatar TheFacts says:

      And exactly the same would apply if the funding were to be given to Fujitsu or Cable & Wireless / Vodaphone or any other company?

      B4RN is seeking funding for expansion, what ROI will the taxpayer get? Grants are given to theaters, what ROI does the taxpayer get?

  2. Avatar ant says:

    How do they know how much it will cost if they have not surveyed the area yet?

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