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Clawback to Help “Fibre Broadband” Reach 6,000 Premises in Cheshire UK

Friday, January 20th, 2017 (8:04 am) - Score 751
superfast broadband from openreach bt sign

The Connecting Cheshire project in England has announced that a further 6,000 homes and businesses will soon get access to faster “fibre broadband” (FTTC/P) services from Openreach (BT), which is largely thanks to a reinvestment of £4.3 million (mostly public money).

At the last count in December 2016 the project, which is a partnership of 4 local authorities and BT (Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, Halton and Warrington), had already helped to bring faster broadband to 92,000 premises via 1,000 miles of new fibre optic cable and 600 new Street Cabinets (the first one was switched on in 2013).

The original contract also included a clawback (gainshare) clause, which essentially means that any take-up by local homes above 20% in the intervention area would result in BT returning some of the public investment so that it could be reinvested into a further coverage boost. We’ve known since November 2015 that the first allocation of clawback would be worth £3.34m (here).

Today take-up stands at around 40% and Connecting Cheshire has again confirmed that there is a gainshare contribution of £3.34m, which rises to £4.3m via a further investment from BT. At present the project is already working to make FTTC/P available to 98% of premises in the county by summer 2017 and today’s announcement means that a further 6,000 premises will benefit (inc. sub-24Mbps speeds), which falls to 5,400 for those that expect to receive “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) speeds.

David Brown, Deputy Leader of Cheshire East Council, said:

“Under its initial contract with BT, the Connecting Cheshire programme receives a dividend if take-up reaches a certain point. As this has been achieved, the money will be used to extend the network to areas previously outside the planned coverage area – which is great news.

Investing public money in fibre broadband helps sustain our rural communities and maintains Cheshire’s competitive edge as a business destination. It also allows homeowners to do things that need a faster internet connection, like accessing skills and learning, entertainment and other social connections.”

Tony Morgan, BT’s Programme Director, said:

“The Connecting Cheshire programme is going from strength to strength. We are seeing strong take-up of fibre broadband across the county and this is helping us reach even more communities.

BT is committed to rolling out this transformational technology as far as possible. Together with our commercial rollout, more than 96 per cent of homes and businesses across the county are now able to access fibre broadband.”

The extension roll-out is expected to run until Summer 2018 and will benefit areas like Mottram St. Andrew, Swettenham, Aston near Frodsham, Hatton near Warrington and Manor Park in Halton. The full coverage plan is currently still very tentative and subject to on-going engineer surveys, but you can get a rough idea by looking at the project’s colouring book of a coverage map.

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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
3 Responses
  1. Avatar Patrick Cosgrove

    Have we seen the breakdown of clawback money fior all local bodies yet?

  2. Avatar Bob

    I know BT get a lot of stick for their roll out, and to be honest I was originally a critic, but looking at what has been happening with some of the smaller providers now in areas BT are not bidding on extensions, I think sometimes it is better the devil you know.

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