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UPDATE Staffordshire UK Signs Extended Fibre Broadband Rollout Deal

Monday, April 13th, 2015 (3:42 pm) - Score 965

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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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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