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Derbyshire UK Signs Extended BT Fibre Broadband Rollout Contract

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015 (8:01 am) - Score 1,422

The Digital Derbyshire project, which is working with BT and the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme to make “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) connectivity available to 95% of local premises by the end of 2016, looks set to reach more areas after a new Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract was signed.

At present the existing contract will see 88,000 homes and business in the county being put within reach of the new service, which is in addition to the 340,000 or so that BT’s separate commercial deployment has already covered. As part of this the operator will need to install 750,000 metres of fibre optic cable and 445 new Street Cabinets.

So far around 24,876 premises (Dec 2014 figure) have already been upgraded, with 6.7% uptake in related areas, and the original plan for the new Phase 2 BDUK extension was “to reach a more ambitious target of 99% of homes and businesses with superfast broadband service by 2017“. We note the specific mention of “superfast“, which usually implies download speeds of 24Mbps+, although we have our doubts about whether there is enough money in the pot to achieve that for 99% in the new deal.

Unfortunately the pre-election (purdah) period means that neither BT nor the county council can issue an official press release and as such we don’t yet know what the final targets for Phase 2 will become (we had to dig all this info. up ourselves). However the related public consultation indicates that the roll-out for Phase 2 will begin after Summer 2016 and probably run for a couple of years.

In terms of funding, BDUK has allocated £2,190,000 to the phase 2 contract and this is being matched by the council (total public funding of around £4.4 million), although it’s not yet known whether BT will also be contributing (they usually do). Hopefully more details will surface soon.

UPDATE June 2016

The Official project site now states: “we’re aiming for 98% of homes and businesses in Derbyshire to be able to access speeds of at least 24Mb per second by the end of 2018.”

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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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