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BT Signs £56.6m Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Broadband Deal

Tom Brewster is TechWeek Europe's Security Correspondent. He has also been named BT Information Security Journalist of the Year in 2012 and 2013.

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Another win for Britain’s biggest ISP as two counties sign up for BDUK-backed rollout

BT has won yet another contract backed by funds from the government’s Broadband Development UK (BDUK) initiative, signing a £56.6 million deal with two UK councils.

The ISP will cover both Herefordshire and neighbouring Gloucestershire in fibre as part of the same agreement. It should enable 90 percent of homes and businesses in the two counties to access fibre connections by the end of 2016, providing speeds of up to 24Mbps or above by 2018.

Broadband bucks

BT is investing £20.9 million in the project, as £18.17m of the funds come from BDUK, the government fund to get better broadband to remote areas, £10.1 million from Herefordshire Council and £7.5m from Gloucestershire County Council.

The project will have a decent level of transparency, as a website will go up in 2013, allowing people to see how the new network will be built.

“The County Council has a commitment to help Gloucestershire grow by investing in better skills, infrastructure and homes – for young people, for business and for the community,” said Gloucestershire County Council leader, Mark Hawthorne.

“This deal enables us to put in place an infrastructure to support growing businesses and help people live where they want to live.”

BT is still the only ISP to have won contracts under the BDUK scheme. The government initiative was being investigated by the European Commission, which was looking into state aid issues and possible anticompetitive problems. The Commission gave the go-ahead last month, however, letting BT spread fibre across various parts of the UK.

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