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Cotswolds Broadband Set to Lay Fibre Optic Cable in West Oxfordshire

Thursday, April 23rd, 2015 (2:39 pm) - Score 1,501

The Cotswolds Broadband project, which last year tendered for a supplier to help roll-out a 100Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to the majority of homes and businesses in West Oxfordshire (England), now looks set to begin building the network by September 2015.

Last year saw the scheme secure a commitment for £3.2m of private investment, which came in addition to the previously announced investment of £1.6m from West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) and a grant of up to £1.6m from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). It is one of the rare non-BT contracts to win funding from BDUK.

The project intends to use this funding in order to help provide “up to 100 per cent of households and businesses across West Oxfordshire with access to superfast broadband“, which should benefit 6,100 premises. The figure marks an increase on the initial estimate of 5,839 because apparently BT’s rival deployment will service fewer homes and businesses than originally planned.

According to the Witney Gazette, Cotswolds Broadband has now “signed off contracts with suppliers of fibre-optic cabling and wireless infrastructure” (note: some smaller areas will get a fixed wireless broadband network) and the final contract with BDUK should be completed by the end of this month.

The first actual building work is now predicted to begin in either August or September 2015, although a more precise timescale will only come once the final engineering surveys and mapping stages have completed. We did attempt to check the projects website before going to press, but at the time of writing it appeared to be offline and unresponsive.

It’s worth pointing out that Cotswolds Broadband won’t be providing the service itself and will instead wholesale it out via an ISP. At this point some altnet projects can run into trouble when residents find that they’re unable to choose from any of the markets major providers, but hopefully the Cotswolds scheme will deliver something that’s not only fast, but also competitively affordable. On top of that they’ll need to do some serious advertising.

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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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