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Connecting Cheshire Expands Broadband Rollout to 1000 Extra Premises

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014 (4:52 pm) - Score 778
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The Connecting Cheshire project in England has found another £643k to help boost its state aid supported £28.5 million roll-out of “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services, which will add an additional 1,000 “rural” premises to BT’s local network coverage.

At present the project aims to cover “around” 96% of premises across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington by the end of summer 2015 (overall total of 80,000 premises) and the new funding will focus on four “hard to reach locality areas” including: Huxley, Arley & Antrobus, Burleydam & Audlem and Gawsworth, North Rode and Wincle.

The related update states that the additional coverage will be provided under an “extension to the current Connecting Cheshire programme being rolled-out by BT Openreach in partnership with four Cheshire councils“, although a report on Thinkbroadband suggests that the grant might have actually come from the £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF).

Recently the RCBF has increasingly seen its investment being merged into local Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) schemes and thus predominantly going towards BT, although originally many had hoped that the fund would act as a boost for projects initiated by smaller ISPs (altnets).

Councillor Herbert Manley said:

This is even more good news on the roll out of Superfast Broadband for Cheshire West and Chester – taking us even further into our rural communities. These communities have been actively involved in championing the need for Superfast Broadband and today’s news really demonstrates the value in doing so.”

It’s worth pointing out that the Government has also recently allocated another £2.12 million to the local scheme, although precisely how or where this will be spent has yet to be confirmed.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Is that premises passed again? I suspect so – in which case the number may not be quite as high as the press release suggests.
    Which is a shame.

  2. Avatar fastman2 says:

    if its RCBF think thet have to be at >24meg to Qualify

    1. Avatar No clue says:

      Why is the minimum BT FTTC guaranteed speed 2Mbps then?

    2. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      That’s the difference between a minimum technological capability and a performance target set by the government. To be “superfast” a connection must be able to deliver “greater than 24Mbps” but separately FTTC itself can be used on sub-24Mbps lines down to 2Mbps in order to help meet the USC.

    3. Avatar Raindrops says:

      From what i can find about the RCBF it only guarantees 2Mb not 24+Mb

  3. Avatar fastman2 says:

    this is the stipulation of RCBF

    The Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) is intended to help communities within theremaining 10% ‘hard to reach’ areas to access Superfast Broadband services – over and above the basic 2Mbps service – where they can demonstrate local need and demand, and the capacity tomake it happen at a reasonable cost

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      So 2Mb and higher not 24Mb and higher? Interesting anyone including BT should be able to get funding to only technically have to provide something higher than 2Mb.

  4. Avatar flipdee says:

    £634 per premises for 2Mbps+ Cracking value for money i’d say.
    Oh yes, then there’s the actual broadband/line rental charge on top.

  5. Avatar flipdee says:

    P.S. Any indication how much extra hardware/labour is required for this £634,000?

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