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Oxfordshire UK Seeks Government Cash to Improve County Broadband

Posted: 12th Oct, 2010 By: MarkJ
oxfordshire uk broadband mapThe Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) has met with BT and announced plans to improve the county's broadband internet access by bidding for UK government cash in December 2010. It's estimated that 1 in every 6 local homes receive poor broadband or no connection at all. Some 17% of the region experience speeds of less than 2Mbps and 90% of people live outside the main city of Oxford.

Oxford itself is already due to receive an exchange upgrade on 31st March 2011 to support BT's faster 'up to' 40Mbps fibre optic based FTTC broadband services. BT recently announced that two additional Oxfordshire exchanges, Thame and Witney, would get FTTC in December 2011 (here). The latest projections indicate that 50% of the county should receive some form of superfast broadband by 2015.

The Deputy Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, David Robertson, told Oxford Times:

"The county council is not in the business of laying cable infrastructure. BT has indicated they are keen to help Oxfordshire build the next generation of access broadband and they are coming to talks to see how that can be achieved.

We have been told the government is ready and wanting to receive proposals, with funding available. But the cost of rolling out fast broadband across the rural areas of the county would run into millions."

It's understood that the council intends to work with BT , Virgin Media and any smaller ISPs that could help to resolve the areas problems. The government itself is expected to outline a more detailed approach for the whole country before Christmas.

However Oxfordshire is just one part of the country and the government is unlikely to have enough cash to meet everybody's demands. Initially its money is more likely to focus on assisting in bringing minimum broadband speeds of 2Mbps to all (Universal Service Commitment) rather than superfast connectivity.

Last year the council also ploughed £600k into its Oxfordshire Community Network (Broadband Network) project.
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