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North Tyneside UK to Achieve National Broadband Targets without BDUK Funds

Posted: 01st Feb, 2012 By: MarkJ
north tyneside lbp ukThe North Tyneside Council (NTC) has confirmed that it aims to "exceed national targets" by making superfast broadband ISP services available to 91% of the borough by 2015 and without public funding from the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office. Sadly this means that those in the last 9% have been given a "low priority" and will instead be stuck with "a 2Mbps service".

The news follows shortly after the UK governments Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) released a new progress report (here), which labelled North Tyneside as being one of the local authorities that was most at risk of having their funding pulled due to the slow pace of progress.

The council is supposed to have its "draft" Local Broadband Plan (LBP) approved by the governments deadline (end of February 2012), which is naturally a little difficult to do when you don't have one. As a result some £880k of BDUK funds, which the council would have been expected to match, is likely to be withdrawn.

Elected Mayor for North Tyneside, Mrs Linda Arkley, said:

"I can give a firm commitment to our residents and business that we are on target to deliver superfast broadband where it is needed most, by 2015.

In this instance, given the pressures on resources at the present time, we felt that the benefits of increasing the coverage of superfast broadband across the remaining 9 per cent of the borough, would be limited, and therefore a low priority when deciding how best to spend council tax payers' money."

Some of the locals whom live in that last 9% are likely to be very disappointed. The council, with a rare opportunity to go well beyond the target, has instead chosen to merely meet the target (ok.. "exceed" by just 1%) and go no further.

The council instead claims to have taken an "active" role in helping BT to deploy its superfast broadband ( FTTC / FTTP ) services in the area, although it's not clear what that has entailed; beyond allowing BT to go where it was already intending. Credits to Thinkbroadband for spotting this.
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