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National Broadband Delivery UK Scheme Passes 273,731 with BT Fibre

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014 (1:13 pm) - Score 474
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The Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, which hopes to make superfast fixed line broadband speeds of 25Mbps+ available to 95% of the population by 2017, claims to have successfully passed 273,731 premises on 31st Dec 2013 with BT’s FTTC/P network (estimated to now be sitting at 300,000).

The coverage represents additional homes and businesses, supported by public funding, that otherwise wouldn’t have been upgraded as part of BT’s separate £2.5bn commercial roll-out to 66% of the United Kingdom by Spring 2014. It’s noted that the total also includes the installation of approximately 1000 new street cabinets (note: 100k of the 300k premises total also come from upgrades in Wales).

Otherwise there’s not an awful lot new about today’s announcement, which once more reminds us that BDUK and BT’s deployment is expected to start passing 40,000 additional homes and businesses per week during summer 2014 (here). At present the roll-out is running at 10,000 premises per week and should hit 25,000 in spring 2014. But it was confirmed that £14,182,547 of BDUK funding has now been spent to achieve the latest total.

Maria Miller, Culture Secretary, said:

Having superfast broadband is really important to people up and down the country whether they need it for work or simply to download music or films. These figures prove that there is now a real momentum with thousands of homes and businesses now getting access each week. This is part of our long term economic plan and broadband will be instrumental in driving growth and boosting local economies throughout the UK.”

The progress is keeping a good pace and so far most of BDUK’s first batch of allocated funding of £530m has been used to reflect their original goal of 90% coverage by the end of 2015, which contrary to some reports still looks likely to be achievable (BDUK myths).

Meanwhile another £250m has already been allocated to push that coverage up to 95% and the Government are promising to reveal more about their plans for this very soon. But we expect most of this to end up in BT’s pocket and would be surprised if BDUK actually did something radically different.

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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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