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Worcestershire Expand UK Rural Broadband Project by 1400 Extra Premises

Monday, Apr 7th, 2014 (4:57 pm) - Score 682

The Superfast Worcestershire project in England has announced that another 1,400 homes and businesses in the county will be able to get “high-speed fibre broadband” access thanks to an additional grant of £1,147,032 from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK scheme. However the money might not be coming directly from BDUK.

The local media coverage notes that this new investment, which will need to be matched by the schemes partners, appears to focus on upgrades for the communities of Ombersley, Honeybourne, Pebworth, Castlemorton, Birtsmorton and Welland, Doverdale, Holt, Abberley, Defford and Besford.

Meanwhile a related report on Thinkbroadband has been quick to spot that the above areas were previously announced under an application (here) for the £20 million Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF). But lately most of this RCBF funding appears to have been merged into the central BDUK and BT schemes, with rival alternative solutions from smaller ISPs being cast aside.

Cllr Simon Geraghty said:

I am so pleased to be able to confirm this additional funding for Worcestershire to become further connected and enable fibre-Broadband to reach additional rural areas. The county-wide scheme is already ambitious and committed to reaching over 90 per cent of our residents and businesses and this further funding will help us to extend that reach into more rural areas where we know this will support both residents and businesses.”

The source article does not confirm whether the new investment will go into a deployment of BT’s FTTC or FTTP solutions, although it’s probably safe to bet on BT being the beneficiary. BT’s commercial deployment of FTTC/P is currently expected to pass 176,000 premises by the end of this spring and an additional 55,000 will then be added (now 56,400) through the local £21m+ Superfast Worcestershire project, which will extend the overall coverage to 90% by mid-2016.

It should be noted that BDUK has also allocated an extra £2.39m to the county (here), although the council has yet to make a decision on how this will be spent (the government expects it to boost national superfast broadband coverage to 95% by 2017 but this can vary from county to 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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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