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Worcestershire UK Unveils Next Areas to Benefit from Fibre Broadband

Thursday, January 28th, 2016 (10:15 am) - Score 286
worcestershire uk broadband

The Superfast Worcestershire (England) project has today announced which areas will benefit from its second contract with BTOpenreach, which aims to expand the local coverage of “high-speed fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) to an additional 8,000 premises by Autumn 2017.

The first Broadband Delivery UK based contract is already working to make the service available to 90% of local homes and businesses by June 2016 (55,000 additional premises) and the second contract, which should ensure that 95% of local premises are covered by the “fibre” network and 94% will receive “superfast” (24Mbps+) speeds, was signed in March 2015 (here).

Sadly the project has occasionally faced some unusual criticism from local politicians (example), with one suggesting that it was a waste of money and that the local authority should spend the money elsewhere. But such remarks have so far done little to slow the work, in fact the new Autumn 2017 completion target has actually moved forward from the original Summer 2018 estimate.

Happily we now also know which will be the first areas to benefit from the second contract.

New Areas
Arley
Cotheridge
Spetchley

Infill Areas
Ashton-under-Hill
Badsey
Belbroughton
Broadway
Bishampton
Blakedown
Chaddesley Corbett
Clows Top
Great Witley
Hallow
Hartlebury
Harvington
Kidderminster
Ombersley
Peopleton
Pershore
Rock
Wolverley
Worcester

Just in case anybody has forgotten, the term “infill” is a reference to locations that have already been partially upgraded with FTTC/P connectivity and which will now see the same service being expanded to cover a wider area. The expanded roll-out will begin this Summer 2016, almost immediately after completion of the original contract in June 2016.

Ed Vaizey, Digital Economy Minister, said:

Our roll-out of superfast broadband has already reached an extra 3.5 million premises so far, and around 50,000 in Worcestershire alone. We’re on track to reach 95 per cent of the country by 2017, and I’m delighted that the extra funding means another 8,000 homes and businesses in Worcestershire will be able to access superfast speeds.”

It’s worth pointing out that some investment has already been set aside for a future / third contract, which came after BT confirmed that a mix of clawback and deployment savings would return £3m for reinvestment to expand fibre broadband into more areas (here).

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove

    How are they able to sign contracts in the absence of current state aid regs?

    • As per the article, the contract was signed in March 2015 before the old regs expired.

    • Avatar MikeW

      There were an awful lot of contracts signed in those last couple of months before expiry. Not many were fully reported because of election purdah.

    • Avatar wirelesspacman

      One wonders how much proper due diligence was done in the rush to hand over even more millions to BT before the shutters came down?

  2. Avatar Captain Cretin

    Good news for North Worcestershire, not much for the south of the county; although I think the South got all the earlier work.

    No joy for certain parts of Malvern though; still going to be stuck with well under 30Mbps – just where all the new housing developments have been built, and the most densely populated part of the town.

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