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UPDATE Staffordshire UK Signs Extended Fibre Broadband Rollout Deal

Monday, April 13th, 2015 (3:42 pm) - Score 941

The Superfast Staffordshire project in the West Midlands (England), which also includes Stoke-on-Trent, has just signed a second Broadband Delivery UK contract under the Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) and it should bring “fibre broadband” to even more areas.

As before, the pre-election (purdah) period means that we won’t be getting an official press release from the council about the signing of this Phase 2 BDUK contract, at least not until after the General Election has completed next month (the purdah rules force them to keep quiet). But we can at least offer a little bit of information, based on what’s currently available to the public.

At present the existing £27m project is already quite extensive and aims to make BT’s “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) network available to 97% of local homes and businesses, with 95% of premises being able to access “superfast” speeds of 24Mbps+ by spring 2016.

In all, around 88,000 extra premises will be upgraded (34,000 have already been completed, with uptake in related areas reaching 7.6%.) and that should bring the overall total, including any separate commercial deployments, to 472,000 premises by completion of the first BDUK Phase 1 project.

Interestingly the Phase 1 goal already matches the Government’s 95% superfast coverage target for Phase 2, in fact the completion date is actually ahead of the official 2017 target. Never the less we know that there are still around 27,000 premises that won’t be able to access a superfast connection once Phase 1 has completed and most of these will be the target of the new Phase 2 contract, which is supported by £1,680,000 of additional funding from BDUK. Further details will follow after the election.

Credits to a BDUK source for informing us of the contract change.

UPDATE 5th June 2015

As the pre-election period subsides we can now finally confirm that the second contract will benefit another 4,000 premises and is worth £2.31 million, with £1.68m coming from BDUK and £630,000 from BT. The council itself has not contributed anything.

The communities set to benefit from this new funding will include: Calton, Dunstall, Ellenhall, Hanbury, Harlaston, Marston, Newborough, Rangemoor, Swindon, Tattenhill, Wetton, Whitgreave and Yarlet.

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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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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew Williams says:

    This BDUK project has been going extremely well seen a lot of rural areas get upgraded recently. Very nice to hear that they are pushing beyond the 95% mark here I’ve always wondered if it would get any additional funding for Phase 2 since Phase 1 was going to give 95% already. Hopefully with additional funding we are looking at 96-98% of the county at superfast speeds.

  2. Avatar Phil Coates says:

    A lot of rural areas have been upgraded but so have a lot of urban areas. Rugeley, Lichfield, Cannock, Stoke and Stafford.

    They even upgraded the cabinet in Stafford Town Square with BDUK money.

    There are plenty round Stone and Uttoxeter with long lines that only support dial-up. I cannot wait to get rid of my Satellite BB @£75 per month runningat 63kbps last night. I am 200 meters from the main road between the 2 towns!

    1. Avatar Matt says:

      True enough Phil I’m just glad to see that the roll-out is very much turning into rural areas. I was shocked how much of Stoke and Stafford wasn’t done commercially.

      Will be interesting to see how the situation in Uttoxeter and stone goes we should start to see that soon.

  3. Avatar Phil Coates says:

    ..and whilst we are on the subject, why should the spending of taxpayers money be subject to pre-election purdah?

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      My guess is it’s because the Government aren’t strictly supposed to use their status and influence to drum up support during the campaigning period, which ensures a more level playing field between the parties as the Governing authority would have quite a few arguably unfair advantages to exploit.

      You’ll note that the Government has always taken every opportunity to self-promote when new BDUK deals are signed, but during purdah it would be considered a bit controversial to do the same thing. There is statutory guidance for local authorities about publicity during the period just before local elections.

  4. Avatar Phil Coates says:

    Bizarrely the same applies in the NHS!!

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