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UPDATE West Yorkshire and BT Agree Extended Fibre Broadband Deal

Monday, June 29th, 2015 (10:20 am) - Score 727
bt openreach staffordshire engineer

The Superfast West Yorkshire project in England, which is aiming to roll-out BT’s “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services to 97% of local homes and businesses by the end of September 2015 (708,000 total premises), has signed a new £13m deal to extend this to another 28,000 premises.

Interestingly the new Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract states that the aim now appears to represent 98% coverage of “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) speeds by the end of 2018, although this could easily still represent just the raw fibre footprint (we are checking). Otherwise the funding split is £6.89m from the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme and £6.1m from BT.

A number of areas, including parts of York and Kirklees, are set to benefit. Hopefully the York deployment won’t conflict too much with the joint TalkTalk, Cityfibre and Sky Broadband roll-out of ultrafast 1000Mbps FTTH/P services in the area (most of that is urban focused and so public funding isn’t usually allowed for those).

Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said:

Our rollout of superfast broadband in West Yorkshire has already reached more than 60,000 homes and businesses. This new deal means another 28,000 premises will also be able to access superfast speeds and will provide an additional boost to the local economy.”

David Green, West Yorkshire Combined Authority Member, said:

Along with physical transport infrastructure, high-speed broadband is vital in providing the links businesses need to achieve growth and create new jobs and to help residents access the benefits of high speed internet, West Yorkshire Combined Authority has a goal of achieving 100% superfast broadband coverage for the whole of Leeds City Region.

I am pleased that by having a clear vision of what we wanted to achieve and working closely with BT to achieve it, we have found ways to provide crucial high-speed internet access to places that otherwise would not be served.”

The Superfast West Yorkshire project has already helped to reach over 64,000 premises across the intervention area, which is running towards a final project total of 80,000.

The actual number of households/businesses taking up superfast broadband in the intervention area also reached 8068 in March 2015 and statistics issued by BT indicated that overall take-up percentage in the intervention area had risen to 12.6%, up from 10.5% in January.

UPDATE 12:17pm

It looks as if the local project needs to update their press statement and website. A spokesperson for BT has just confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that the “98% target refers to fibre not just >24Mbps” coverage (i.e. it includes areas that will receive sub-24Mbps speeds and so the actual ‘superfast’ % should be a few points lower).

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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 Samuel

    York is in North Yorkshire why would it benefit from a West Yorkshire deal?

    • I’m not entirely sure of the history here, but for whatever reason the West Yorkshire Combined Authority includes the five West Yorkshire districts plus York, and the business sector through the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

    • Avatar MikeW

      York isn’t “in” North Yorkshire, in a council sense. It is a unitary authority, so makes its own decisions, independent of both

      The WYCA is a new invention, dating to 2014 – certainly since BDUK phase 1 got started – and York chose to join this combined authority alongside the West Yorkshire councils; I guess they felt more affinity with the urban parts of West Yorkshire than the rural parts of North Yorkshire. WYCA is for things well beyond broadband.

      The West Yorkshire councils decided to hand the BDUK phase 2 project responsibility over to the WYCA. That left York in an odd position, so it chose to remove itself from the combined “North Yorkshire and York” project at the end of their phase 1, and align itself with the West Yorkshire project.

    • York was previously part of the North Yorkshire BDUK project for phase 1, but have chosen to go with a different set of councils for phase 2.

  2. Avatar arundel

    So this means Kirklees have finally signed up? About time. I don’t live there anymore but their staunch refusal in the face of the phase 1 scheme made me feel sorry for my family who still do (and who suffer the consequences of being attached to the Huddersfield exchange!)

    • Avatar MikeW

      It was always a weird decision, wasn’t it?

      The result shows in the coverage figures over on the equivalent ThinkBroadband article.

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