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UK Devon and Somerset Broadband Extension Contract Goes to Tender

Friday, January 16th, 2015 (10:40 am) - Score 694

The £94m Connecting Devon and Somerset project in England, which is currently working with BT to make “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+ capable FTTC/P) service available to over 90% of local premises by the end of 2016 and possibly 95% through a new contract, appears to have moved on from its earlier funding woes and prepared a tender.

At the start of last year the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme made an additional £22.75m available to help the area boost its coverage target up to 95% by 2017, although the match funding for Phase 2 of the project ended up falling a little short (leaving the total at £38m) due to local budget cuts and other difficulties. Never the less a tender has finally gone out.

David Hall, Deputy Leader of Somerset County Council, said:

The roll out of the superfast broadband infrastructure across our region has made excellent progress despite being one of most challenging terrains in the country and the largest geography of any such programme nationally.

The tender marks a significant step in achieving our ultimate goal of 100% superfast broadband coverage across the area by 2020. Also this stage of the roll out will put a strong focus on the business community, including homeworkers, courtesy of funding from the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, eventually helping to provide a predicted three quarters of a billion pound economic boost to the region.

We recognise that there is still a long way to go to rolling out the complete programme but we firmly believe the procurement approach we are taking with the second stage tender will ensure we remain on course and provide best value to communities at the same time.”

So far the current programme has already helped over 400 street cabinets and nearly 100,000 premises connect to BT’s “fibre broadband” network and it’s highly likely that BT will also win the second contract. The new tender is officially expected to be published by early February 2015 and then a contract could be signed during the spring.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Croft says:

    Not sure i’m any the wiser having read this – out to tender but no details…

  2. Avatar GNewton says:

    It’s not really a genuine tender because it will go to that beggar known as BT anyway.

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