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Berkshire UK Signs GBP8m BDUK Superfast Broadband Rollout with BT

Friday, October 4th, 2013 (1:30 pm) - Score 427

It’s been a long time coming but all six Berkshire unitary authorities (Councils) in south east England have today agreed to a new state aid supported £8 million deal with BT, which will roll-out a “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network to cover “around” 91% of local premises by the end of September 2015.

Apparently the money will be used to help reach an additional 18,000 premises over the next two years (around 17,000 within this intervention area will get superfast speeds of 25Mbps+), which builds on the existing commercial programmes of BT and other suppliers who will have already provided coverage to 87% of Berkshire (roughly 320,000 homes and businesses).

The Superfast Berkshire project is being funded by £2.03m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) budget, £2.03m from Berkshire’s local authorities and the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (TVBLEP). Finally BT is contributing £4m to the scheme.

Councillor David Burbage said:

For many people living and working in rural areas, this is an important day. It gives them confidence that more 21st century technology is within reach and that they will soon be able to enjoy the benefits of faster access to the internet – benefits that some other people have had for some time.”

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

This is great news for the people living in these areas of Berkshire. 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.”

BTOpenreach currently intends to start their engineer survey work from early 2014 and the network build phase is then expected to get underway a little later in 2014. The total roll-out will span five deployment phases and the first connections are expected to go live during the autumn of 2014.

Additionally, the project aims to ensure that everyone in Berkshire has access to a minimum download speed of 2Mbps. This will be achieved by extending fibre and using other technologies, such as satellite, in some of the more rural parts of the county.

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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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