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BT Scoops Plymouth and South West Devon Full Fibre Contract

Friday, May 15th, 2020 (1:13 pm) - Score 2,467
Bundle of optical fibers with lights in the ends lay on keyboard.

The Plymouth City Council (PCC) has announced that BT have been awarded the contract to install a new gigabit-capable “fibre broadband” network across Plymouth, South Hams and West Devon, which will use £2.2m of public funding to help connect 131 public sector sites (e.g. hospitals, schools, libraries and council buildings).

As part of this announcement BT has revealed that they’ve committed “significant inward investment to the region’s communications network” worth over £22 million over the next few years, although it’s unclear whether or not they’re including Openreach’s existing commercial FTTP and FTTC broadband roll-out plans into that figure.

Otherwise building work on the new full fibre network is expected to commence during the autumn 2020 period and will continue into 2021. The management and oversight of this installation will be carried out by Delt Shared Services on behalf of the partnership.

Tudor Evans OBE, Plymouth City Council Leader, said:

“The lockdown illustrates exactly why we need to make sure our technology and our networks are up to the job – not just now but in the future.

We’ve all had a wakeup call for how important our broadband network is – just on a personal basis let alone on a business continuity side – so I am chuffed to bits that this is going ahead. The possibilities are limitless.”

Samantha Toombs, BT’s Director of Public Sector (South West), said:

“As a major employer in the area, we’re really pleased to be working with partners in Plymouth and South West Devon on this new ultrafast broadband network. Using the latest broadband and our 5G mobile network will help critical public services run more efficiently and offer new, innovative solutions. It will also benefit council staff and healthcare providers, helping them improve the services being provided to residents and patients here. That means improving the economy and the lives of people living in and visiting this area.”

One curiosity in all this is that PPC made a similar announcement one year ago (here), although at the time they claimed to have secured £3m of funding from the UK government’s Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) project and intended to connect 227 public sector sites. We assume this is that same contract, albeit significantly scaled-back (we are currently seeking some clarification on this).

At present the city of Plymouth (where most of this work will take place) still gets the bulk of their gigabit-capable connectivity from Virgin Media’s hybrid fibre coax based cable network (covers most of the city). Sadly only a tiny bit of FTTP from Openreach exists today.

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Avatar chris conder says:

    The superfarce rocks on.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      In fairness, this deal is about full fibre.

    2. Avatar Graham Long says:

      Mark, this deal is also about schools, hospitals, libraries and council buildings not homes. Homes in the area will continue with FTTC and copper into their properties (even if a school is next door!). As you say Mark, “only a tiny bit of FTTP exists form BT”. I wonder if the fibre “passes” homes to reach schools, hospitals, libraries and council buildings, will BT magically count them as properties passed. As previously mentioned the UK remains the slowest counrty in Europe to make fibre a reality and with CDS in the area the future does not look bright. https://www.ftthcouncil.eu/documents/FTTH%20Council%20Europe%20-%20Panorama%20at%20September%202019%20-%20Webinar%20Version4.pdf

    3. Avatar Andrew Ferguson says:

      Cannot say what BT and Ofcom do but just because a fibre goes down a street I will not be adding the premises to any fibre premises pass figure. If i was doing that then there would be millions more FTTP premises passed due to the fibre feeding the many 1000’s of VDSL2 cabinets

      What other countries and idate do I do not know.

    4. Avatar The Facts says:

      @GL – Hyperoptic connected schools etc. in towns. Why didn’t they put FTTP into all the properties on the way?

    5. Avatar GNewton says:

      @chris conder:

      This the farce:

      “£2.2m of public funding to help connect 131 public sector sites”

      More good money thrown at BT who has no need for it.

    6. Avatar Jake Court says:

      Council offers all infrastructure builders the opportunity of funding to connect their public service buildings. BT win it. BT, I presume via Openreach, fulfil the contract with FTTP/FFIB.

      The farce is the embarrassing way you don’t get the detail of whats going on anymore. B4RN must be so pleased with how you represent them online these days.

    7. Avatar The Facts says:

      @CC, @GN – both of you have no idea about providing a dedicated corporate, private, network. As said there was a tendering process.

      @GN xxx

    8. Avatar Jake Court says:

      Do you really think a FTSE100 company would risk misleading the market on their future revenue potential by inflating the number of premises that can take service?

      If you’ve got evidence of this going on then I believe you are going to be a very important person soon!

    9. Avatar The Facts says:

      @Graham – please provide FTTP numbers and current build rate from all suppliers.

    10. Avatar Jake Court says:


      Are you upset at Plymouth for making the funding available to ensure their key sites get connected soon? Or upset at Govt for giving Plymouth funding to run the procurement? Or upset at BT for submitting the best bid? Or maybe it’s Plymouth again for thinking the BT bid was the most advantageous of those submitted?

      It’s hard to keep up.

    11. Avatar Fastman says:

      interesting SSE in Scotland secures an LLFN contract via Tender process no one bats an eulylid (1 comment on ISP review)

      SSE Enterprise Telecoms Win £10.5m Aberdeenshire Full Fibre Project
      6th May, 2020 (1 Comment)

      The Aberdeenshire Council in Scotland has awarded a £10.5 million UK Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) contract to the Enterprise Telecoms division of SSE (SSEET), which will be tasked with building a new “gigabit-capable” Dark Fibre network to connect 189 local public sector sites (hospitals, council buildings, schools etc.). #

      BT win the same typle of contract in a different location (via government tender process ) and the uninformed and otherwise comment the world away

  2. Avatar Bored Panda says:

    I’m gonna end up in the only non-rural town that has no FTTP at this rate.

    1. Avatar Gary says:

      Which town is that ? what population ?

    1. Avatar joe says:


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