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UPDATE BT to Help Lancashire UK Reach 99% Superfast Broadband Cover

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015 (10:42 am) - Score 1,320

The Lancashire County Council has once again picked BT to help extend the coverage of superfast broadband (24Mbps+) speeds from the current target of 97% (end of 2015) to 99% by around 2017, which will be conducted as part of the Government’s BDUK based Superfast Extension Programme.

The current Superfast Lancashire deployment of “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services has now reached over 110,000 premises across the county, which pegs the total coverage (including separate commercial roll-outs) at over half a million homes and businesses and the aim for phase 1 is to push this total to 655,000.

Sadly details about the new Phase 2 contract are extremely limited, which is largely due to the pre-election period stalling big public announcements. But the Blackpool Gazette notes how the scheme will be supported by £7.68m of public funding (it’s not currently known whether BT will also contribute). Some of the first phase 2 areas to benefit will be Warton, Elswick, Little Eccleston and Freckleton.

Lest we not forget the small but significant impact of B4RN’s separate scheme in some of the county’s most rural areas, which uses no state-aid but continues to roll-out a 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) network despite facing some well document obstacles along the way (e.g. BT’s rival FTTP deployment in Dolphinholme).

UPDATE 20th April 2015

According to BDUK, the contract signing has now completed, with the Government confirming its contribution of £3,840,000 to the project (the total figure given above is matched with council funding). Still no word on BT’s contribution.

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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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