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Swindon Council Agree to Deploy Superfast Broadband

Friday, September 5th, 2014 (10:05 am) - Score 1,151

After sitting the first round out the Swindon Borough Council has now agreed to team-up with the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme in order to make superfast broadband speeds of 24Mbps+ available to 95% of local homes and businesses by 2017 (100% have also been promised speeds of at least 2Mbps).

At the start of this year BDUK set aside £4.97 million for use in Wiltshire, South Gloucestershire, Swindon. The latter won a share of this worth £1.5 million and the council has now agreed to match that investment (total public funding worth £3m), which could rise again in the future once a private sector partner has been found to help contribute.

Not that Swindon is poorly served. Ofcom’s data suggests that the average modem “sync” speed in the Borough is already a respectable 20.9Mbps (Megabits per second) and around 80% should be within reach of a superfast broadband connection (only 6.5% get sub-2Mbps speeds).

Dale Heenan, Councillor for Strategic Planning, said:

For many local residents and local businesses, broadband internet is no different to a utility like water and gas. Councillors Elliott, Faramarzi and Edwards have worked closely with the Cabinet to show that broadband speeds in parts of Swindon like Priory Vale and our villages were a problem and helped find a solution.

A report published last month showed that the speed of broadband can affect house prices, so this is good news for families, good news for local jobs and good news for home owners.”

According to the Swindon Advertiser, an open tender process will now be undertaken over the next six months in order to find a suitable private sector partner to deliver the network. As usual, and given the level of funding involved, it’s probably easy to bet on another BT contract win. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting the news.

The first area to benefit is expected to be the Priory Vale, although it’ll probably be the latter half of 2015 before we see much actual movement.

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