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Cheshire UK Sign BT Contract to Expand Local “Fibre Broadband” Rollout

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014 (12:20 pm) - Score 752
bt superfast fibre broadband openreach uk engineer

The Connecting Cheshire project in England has been given a £6 million boost after the local authority signed a new Phase 2 Broadband Delivery UK deal with BT under the Superfast Extension Programme (SEP), which will expand the planned “fibre broadband” coverage to an extra 10,000 homes and businesses in the county by summer 2017.

At present the existing Phase 1 deployment, which is worth £28.5 million, aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to “around” 96% of local premises across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington by the end of summer 2015 (overall total of 80,000 premises), although the latest press release talks about Phase 1 completing “at the end of 2016” (significant delay? the project’s website currently still reflects the original 2015 date).

So far more than 48,000 premises have already been put within reach of the new service and it’s hoped that, once the commercial deployments from BT and other operators is also factored in, then around 400,000 homes and businesses should have the option of receiving a “fibre broadband” service by completion. Unfortunately it remains unclear what proportion of those can expect to receive “superfast broadband” speeds (24Mbps+).

David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said:

I am delighted we are able to extend the coverage of the Connecting Cheshire project to reach even more premises, particularly in our rural areas, where we know so many people are struggling with slow and unreliable broadband speeds. This is great news for small businesses, students and people of all ages who need and rely on excellent-quality broadband for so many of their modern-day needs.”

Bill Murphy, MD of Next Generation Access for BT, said:

BT has always said there is more to do in Cheshire truly to encourage businesses and residents to create the connected communities they want and deserve. So we are delighted to be given the chance to give a further 10,000 Cheshire homes and businesses the opportunity to invent a new, more prosperous future.”

The Phase 2 extension is being funded by £1.82m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme, with another £1.82m from the local councils, £643,000 from the Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) and finally BT has put in £1.7m. Work is expected to start on the planning of the additional network in autumn 2015.

UPDATE 3:51pm:

BT has confirmed that the “end of 2016” date is a typo and thus the 2015 date still stands.

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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.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar openreach tossers

    openreach haven’t a clue when it comes to speed when they cap the speeds and they blame the isp well that’s how good they are just need someone to fck the green cabinets up for what good they are

  2. Avatar Andy Walsh

    There seems to be a lot of confusion around this piece of work.

    The map published by Connecting Cheshire is inaccurate and certainly not backed up by the commercial providers.

    Greater visibility of where this money is being spent & who gets the benefit would be nice!

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