BT Pens £21.96m West Yorkshire Superfast Broadband Deal

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BT to pump £12m into spreading fibre across God’s Own Country

BT has won another Broadband Development UK (BDUK) contract, this time with West Yorkshire, which should see fibre spread across the area by Autumn 2015.

The plan is to make superfast broadband available to 97 per cent of households and businesses by that time.  Leeds City Council, Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Wakefield Council and Calderdale Council  will work alongside BT to deliver the project.

Yorkshire set for superfast broadband spread

Fibre optic quantum cryptography light © asharkyu ShutterstockBDUK, the government’s fund to take fibre to rural areas of the UK, is providing £4.62 million, whilst BT is throwing £12.5 million of its own money in. The rest is coming from the local authorities and the European Regional Development Fund.

The rollout will largely involve fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) rather than the faster fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) networking.

“This £21.96 million project will deliver an incredible transformation in broadband speeds for thousands of homes and businesses in West Yorkshire,” said Ed Vaizey, communications minister.

“It will be instrumental in driving growth, boosting the local economy, and achieving the Government’s objective of reaching 95 percent of all UK premises by 2017.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield, chair of the Association of West Yorkshire Authorities (AWYA), added: “This is an important day for West Yorkshire as we take a vital step forward in the digital age.

“I encourage all businesses and residents in the region to take full advantage of this exciting opportunity and put West Yorkshire on the superfast map.”

The BDUK programme has been lambasted in recent months. The National Audit Office said in July the project was 22 months behind schedule, whilst MPs raised serious concerns about BT’s domination of the initiative, as it has won every contract so far.

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