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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough UK Tender for 30Mbps Superfast Broadband

Posted: 30th Jan, 2012 By: MarkJ
cambridgeshire and peterborough ukThe UK county of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have shunned government concerns over the pace of their combined Local Broadband Plan (LBP) by putting out a new tender for the project, which could be worth between £70m and £100m +vat (total value of the contract over its life time).

The county is seeking to ensure that 90% of all premises can access superfast broadband ISP speeds (30Mbps+) by 2015. But doubts were cast last week after the government warned that the region was at a "medium" (amber) risk of missing the deadline for submission of a "draft" LBP (here), which could result in related funding being withdrawn.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough's Public Funding:
• £6.75m from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK)
• £23m from Cambridgeshire County and Peterborough City Council's
The tender notes that "other funding sources, such as from EU Funding Streams" will also be sought. The private sector will then be expected to match any public investment, which at present would total (public and private money) up to just under £60m (absent of any additional EU funding).

According to Ofcom UK, just over half (53%) of Cambridgeshire can already access a superfast broadband service and that figure rises to 76% in Peterborough. However 15.8% of Cambridgeshire receives a speed of less than 2Mbps, which rises to 18.2% for Peterborough.

Cambridgeshire's tender also appears open to a "consortium of suppliers acting as a single legal entity" or a single provider (e.g. BT or Fujitsu). In reality we've yet to see any successful consortium's come together for BDUK funding. Meanwhile BT has already secured a sizeable chunk elsewhere (e.g. Wales, Highlands and Islands), while Fujitsu appears to be struggling.

The Cambridgeshire Council's website describes superfast broadband as "more usually" being achieved by "substituting some of the copper with optical fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) – using new green cabinets in the streets"; a fairly obvious nod in BT's direction.

Many councils' are now rushing to meet the governments end of February 2012 deadline and we expect similar tenders to surface over the next few weeks. Credits to Thinkbroadband and Computing.co.uk for spotting the news.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough LBP Tender
http://ted.europa.eu/udl?uri=TED:NOTICE:28993-2012:TEXT:EN:HTML
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