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Kent and Medway Sign Extended BT Superfast Broadband Rollout Contract

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 (3:32 pm) - Score 3,962

The Kent and Medway councils in England appear to have quietly signed a second Broadband Delivery UK contract with BT, which will see the operator extend their FTTC/P based superfast broadband (24Mbps+) network beyond the existing coverage target of 91% by the end of 2015 (note: 95% will be covered by the “fibre broadband” footprint).

So far more than 69,000 extra homes and businesses have benefited from the Kent and Medway BDUK Contract 1 Project, with uptake in upgraded areas reaching 11.2% (Dec 2014), and tens of thousands of additional premises should be reached by the end of this year (the goal is to upgrade an extra 120,000)

At present no press releases about the Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) deal have been released, but ISPreview.co.uk has spotted how BDUK are officially stating that a contract has been signed. Some £5.6m of funding for the phase 2 contract will come from BDUK, which is being matched by the council (total £11.2 million). This is roughly half of what the first contract received (here), although BT’s commitment is not yet known (in the first contract they were able to match all of the public investment).

The purpose of the second contract is of course to meet the Government’s national target, which in Kent’s case would require that the reach of superfast broadband speeds (24Mbps+) be pushed from 91% by the end of 2015 to 95% by around the end of 2017 (i.e. the overall “fibre broadband” footprint is thus likely to push upwards from 95% to around 98%).

We have asked for some additional details, although in the meantime Kent’s recent Open Market Review for the second contract (here) may shed some light on their plans (around 52,000 premises appear to be in the scope of contract 2, although this could rise by another 13,000).

Hopefully the new project will also recognise the contribution of local fixed wireless broadband providers, such as VFast (OrbitalNet), that can deliver 24Mbps speeds to a number of areas. In any case we will update this post with more information once it’s released.

NOTE: The pre-election (purdah) period means that councils and BT are now under strict instructions not to announce anything, so we might have to wait until after the election for the full announcement.

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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 Darren says:

    Unfortunately KCC ignore most of the VFast coverage so they can award these contracts to BT.

    1. Avatar SSUK says:

      Yes it would appear so, just looked them up and they seem to cover most of Kent already.

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