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Telford and Wrekin UK Re-joins BDUK Superfast Broadband Rollout

Saturday, July 19th, 2014 (8:37 am) - Score 780
fibre optic superfast broadband cable

The Labour-led Telford and Wrekin council in England, which two years ago dropped out of the £24.6m Connecting Shropshire project that was setup with BT to improve local broadband connectivity, are preparing to put a £2m funding request into the related Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme to help 96% of premises gain access to superfast broadband (24Mbps+) speeds.

The council originally dropped out of the national broadband upgrade scheme because they were struggling to find £40m worth of budget savings by 2014 and thus the £700k required to match with BDUK’s local investment was simply deemed too expensive. At the time Ofcom also reported that BT and Virgin Media had already made superfast broadband available to nearly 90%, which meant they were already close to hitting the original target for 2015.

But last year the national fixed-line superfast broadband coverage target was lifted to 95% by 2017 and a further £250m made available across the UK. The local authority now seems to have found a way of funding the expected improvement, although the £2m funding allocation needs to be match-funded with public sector money.

The council has already identified £1.4m of this through a “proactive approach to budget management from last financial year” and the total costs of delivery are estimated to be £200,000, thus the council’s total contribution if successful would be £2.2m. A final vote on the bid will be taken by the cabinet on 24th July 2014 and the expectation is that this will be approved.

Apparently the council will submit a bid for the balance of funding to the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, although a final decision is not expected for several months. If the bid is unsuccessful, the council will either ask for the amount it is able to match fund or borrow the rest (the T&W cabinet is being asked to approve that borrowing if it is needed).

Charles Smith, Cabinet Member for Development, said:

This is a much better scheme than the one announced by the government in 2011. It will deliver much better value for money for the taxpayers of Telford and Wrekin and it will help businesses and residents reduce operational costs and access the fastest available broadband.

This will encourage greater e-commerce and interaction through digital communications, which have expanded significantly since the 2011 programme.”

We suspect the “much better scheme” line is just politicians playing politics because not a lot has changed from the original BDUK programme, it’s still fundamentally the same approach, and there’s little doubt that BT will yet again be picked for the job

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Mark Jackson
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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13 Responses
  1. Avatar super duper

    super duper fibre optic what a load of tosh not worth the money as paying for optic but initially half its copper wires that has been paid for six times over with the sodden line rental

    • Avatar Unknown101

      Never run a business please because it’ll definitely fail.

      So you think when your line has paid for itself it should be upgraded to fibre all the way to your doorstep?

  2. Avatar X66yh

    I doubt in some cases even the line rental has paid for itself.
    Take a typical single telephone pole
    Typical capital cost £600
    add in labour etc and its getting towards the £2000.
    that’s a lot of years of line rental gross revenue let alone net revenue used up in one replacement operation

    • Avatar Raindrops

      Erm NO lets say 12 users per pole @ a budget £15 line rental equates to over £2,100 a year so nope that cost is easily paid inside a year. Considering the contract is a minimum of 12 months on a new line its as good as likely paid for itself before the people are even connected and only signed up.

  3. Avatar fastman2

    also beaing in mind as part of USO (unviersal Service obligation) openreach has to provided telephony service up to cost of circa 30k to its business as part of its conidition of licence

    • £30k? It’s £3,400 according to Ofcom. If it costs more than that to provide the line the end user pays the balance.

    • Avatar Raindrops

      Maths once again not its strong points even when talking to itself.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Raindrops
      Looking at the poles near me, none I can see connect to more than four properties, quite a few connect to none, simply hold the lines. Why do you think 12 users per pole is representative?

    • Avatar Raindrops

      Because that is what many poles have near me. Four is most certainly not normal or common. A simple google images search for “bt pole” will show that and also demonstrate that my figure of 12 is much closer to what is common. Lets not let facts and figures get in the way of your BT defending though, it never has before.

  4. Avatar super duper

    End of the day if you paying for “quote a service” why shouldn’t they do it properly instead they rather bodge the so called copper cables which are shot but they rather save money and rip people off with there line rental doesn’t cost that much to servioe the so called telegraph poles etc they hardly do anything anyway so called BTOR cowboy team .

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Super Duper
      What does your post actually mean? Try putting in the odd full stop, comma etc and checking if what you’ve written makes any sense before posting.

    • Avatar Raindrops

      If his posts make no sense to you, then you have nothing to worry or rather argue about.

  5. Avatar super duper

    it does make sense posh Londoner but I forgot you don’t understand up north folk

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