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Central Bedfordshire UK Fibre Broadband Rollout Starts in Stanford

Monday, June 30th, 2014 (2:28 pm) - Score 735

The Central Superfast project, which aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) service available to around 91% of local premises in Central Bedfordshire (England) by spring 2016 (rising to 97% in Milton Keynes), has after 6 months of waiting for an update finally begun its roll-out in the hamlet of Stanford.

The state aid supported roll-out will see BT’s FTTC/P services made available to more than 35,000 homes and businesses in Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Interestingly this is an increase from last year’s figure of 33,000 (note: around 32,000 of those were told to expect superfast speeds of 25Mbps+), which is most likely due to the extra funding that was touted in December 2013 (here).

Ordinarily we don’t tend to cover news about the start of deployment work in Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) linked projects because they rarely add much in the way of new information, but in this instance the local councils have released so little detail that even a small update can seem significant.

However, after 6 long months of waiting, during which some people probably thought the councils broadband team had been wiped out by the bubonic plague, we’ve finally been told that the first location to go live is Stanford, but that’s your lot. Naturally more will follow but for some reason the council doesn’t want to publish a forward looking roll-out plan.

Annette Thorpe, BT’s Regional Boss for the East of England, said:

We have been working hard to get us to this important milestone. This is an exciting time for Central Superfast and the beginning of a journey that will see the communications landscape completely transformed.

This project will boost the local economy and help to create and protect local jobs. It will be of enormous benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.”

In fairness the project does offer an indicative deployment map, although like so many BDUK schemes it’s lacking in detail and somewhat akin to a child’s colouring book. Perhaps we’re being too harsh? But when other councils put out regular updates, with a few even mentioning detail down to specific street cabinets, it just makes the few that don’t seem even more ineffective at keeping people informed.

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