BT secures yet more government funding in the East Midlands
BT has agreed a £26.7 million Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) deal with Derbyshire County Council to provide superfast broadband to 95 percent of the county by 2016 as part of the Digital Derbyshire programme.
The agreement will see 88,000 premises currently not covered by the commercial deployment of fibre in Derbyshire given access to faster broadband, while the intention is that all homes and businesses receive at least 2Mbps.
BT will pay £12.87 million towards the project, Derbyshire County Council £4.9 million, while £7.4 million will come from BDUK and another £2.5 million from the European Regional Development Fund.
“A fast and reliable broadband service is as important as good road and rail links for businesses in the modern day and that’s why we’ve made it one of our priorities,” said Councillor Anne Western, Derbyshire County Council Leader.
“It’s vital that our businesses – including those in rural locations – are at least on a level playing field with other areas of the UK and further afield to be able to maintain and create jobs in a thriving Derbyshire economy.”
BT will now start planning for the project, with the first areas predicted to be upgraded in 2014. The council said BT was selected following an “extensive procurement process”, although the company is the only participant in the government framework following Fujitsu’s withdrawal.
BT has so far won all of the money available under BDUK, leading to questions about whether the initiative is providing the taxpayer with value for money, but BT is adamant that its experience and resources make it the ideal candidate to deliver such projects.
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