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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough UK Finish Phase 1 Broadband Contract

Friday, January 22nd, 2016 (12:01 am) - Score 496

The £29.75m Connecting Cambridgeshire project in England, which aimed to make BT’s superfast broadband (24Mbps+) network available to 90% of premises in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough by the end of 2015 (98% for the raw “fibre broadband” footprint), has today officially completed its target.

The completion of the Phase One Broadband Delivery UK contract means that an additional 97,000+ local homes and businesses have been put within reach of the service, some of which might never have happened without the extra public investment.

Overall this means that roughly 300,000 premises (when including BT and Virgin Media’s separate commercial coverage) in the region can now get access to the faster connectivity. The eagle-eyed among you will no doubt notice that today’s target was hit ever so slightly later than planned, although a few extra weeks is hardly anything to moan about.

Elsewhere take-up of the new “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) service is said to be “among the highest in the country” at nearly 30%, which spells good news for clawback linked reinvestment (see further below).

Ed Vaizey, Digital Minister, said:

The Government’s rollout of superfast broadband is making tremendous progress, and with one of the highest take-up rates in the UK, Cambridgeshire is a leading digital county. We’ve already reached an additional 3.5 million UK homes and businesses, almost 100,000 in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough alone, and the Connecting Cambridgeshire project will reach another 6000 premises in the next phase of our plan.”

Ian Bates, County Councillor, said:

We have come a long way since the County Council took the bold decision to invest in superfast broadband along with Peterborough City Council and awarded the contract to BT in March 2012. We live in a digital world and it’s vital that our businesses and communities have the connections they need to compete and thrive.

We’re already a leading digital county with some of the biggest technology clusters in the country in Cambridge and Peterborough and we want to continue to be at the forefront of innovation to underpin growth and jobs.”

The good news is that a Superfast Extension Programme (SEP) contract, which is backed by £1.5m extra from the Government, was signed last year to help push the connectivity out into more areas (here). On top of that BT has also confirmed that another £5.3m will be returned through clawback to be reinvested in enhanced coverage (here).

The contract extension should cover another 6,000 homes and businesses in further roll-out phases from Spring 2016. Combined with the private sector’s commercial roll-out this means that over 93% of households and businesses across the county can already get “fibre broadband” and the “programme is on track to reach at least 95%” by the end of 2017 (we believe they mean “superfast” speeds for this).

The press release also states that the next two years will see the programme “reaching some of the most challenging rural areas of the county“, albeit with other technologies, such as wireless and Satellite, being used for the remainder by 2020.

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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.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar DTMark says:

    So it’s going to be five years late?

    Speaking, of course, of the 2Mbps for all by end 2015 target.

  2. Avatar GNewton says:

    “Superfast” here means 24Mbps+, not the common 30Mbps+.

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