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BT Signs Superfast Broadband Extension Contract for Leicestershire UK

Friday, March 13th, 2015 (1:12 pm) - Score 796
bt_openreach_fttc_street_cabinet_engineer_installation

The Leicestershire County Council in central England and national telecoms operator BT have today signed a £9.2 million extension of their existing Broadband Delivery UK contract, which will enabled more than 10,000 extra homes and businesses to access a “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network by the end of 2018.

At present the existing £18.5m Superfast Leicestershire project is already working to deploy the new network out to reach 96% of local homes and businesses by March 2016. In practical terms this means that about 54,000 additional premises will be able to receive “super-fast” speeds of 24Mbps+ (note: the underlying network aims to benefit 62,000 by 2016, but not all will get 24Mbps+).

So far the project has already helped to connect 25,000 premises to the new service, which typically represents areas that would have otherwise been marked as commercially unviable by BT. As part of this work, 124 green roadside FTTC street cabinets have already been installed and more than 270kms of fibre optic cable installed.

In terms of funding for the second contract, £3.45m is coming from the Government’s BDUK budget, £2.3m will be contributed by BT, while another £2m is coming via the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (Local Growth Deal) and finally £1.45m from the county council.

Steve Henderson, BT’s Regional NGA Director, said:

The Superfast Leicestershire partnership has already made fibre broadband available to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across the county. This has transformed the way people use the internet, the services that local businesses are able to provide, and the way that everyone can learn online. We’re delighted to have been selected by the council to work with them to extend that reach even further in the coming years.”

Interestingly today’s announcement also hints at some of the additional areas that can expect to benefit from Leicestershire’s second contract, which include Frisby on the Wreake, Eastwell, Seagrave, Shawell, Lockington, Congerstone, and Orton-on-the-Hill, as well as additional parts of South Wigston, Stoney, Stanton, Blaby, Ullesthorpe and Burton on the Wolds.

Once completed it’s expected that a total of more than 360,000 homes and businesses across Leicestershire will have access to “fibre broadband“, which includes BT’s separate commercial rollout of the technology to 290,000.

But as usual the project fails to clarify precisely what % can expect to receive “superfast” (24Mbps+) speeds by completion, although it’s probably quite close to the 95% figure demanded by Government. On top of that we can’t help but notice that this is yet another scheme with a late 2018 completion date, a full year past the Government’s 2017 target.

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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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8 Responses
  1. Avatar GNewton

    Assuming an eventual generous takeup of 20%, that will be £4600 per copper VDSL line, what a waste of money.

    Srcap the BDUK!

    • Avatar MikeW

      It’s a good job your assumptions are erroneous then.

      Here, takeup reaches 20% in less than 2 years. Well under anyone’s idea of “eventual”. And it keeps going up.

      And the second phase numbers here (remarkably similar at £10m for 10,500 properties) come out this way because there ends up being a significant percentage of FTTP in the plan – somewhere around 40%, IIRC.

      You are finally getting your wish – lots of FTTP, in the hardest to reach places – and you think its expensive so needs to be stopped. I think your all-out opposition to FTTC is blinkering you.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @MikeW: Where in this news items about the ‘Superfast Broadband Extension Contract for Leicestershire UK’ does it mention the widespread usage of fibre broadband? So far, the vast majority of both commercial and taxpayer-funded superfast broadband has been copper VDSL, not fibre broadband.

      If for this insane amount of money Leicestershire doesn’t do fibre broadband now, then something is seriously wrong here.

  2. Avatar Onephat

    Having benefitted from the leices rollout I argue that it was a great use of money.

  3. Avatar Mary Briggs

    I live in Leicestershire, and was upgraded just before Christmas under this scheme. Still not very excited, as my speed has gone up from about 1Mbs to a less than impressive 8.3. Better, but not anywhere near the 24 Mbs they headline. My box is some mile away and old copper cable feeds a growing village. Had we relied on Openreach to supply mains electricity, we would still be on candles!

  4. Avatar Paul

    What is the current take up percentage in Leicestershire?

  5. Had we relied on Openreach to supply mains electricity, we would still be on candles!

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