BT Wins More BDUK Funding In £35.44m East Sussex Broadband Deal

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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East Sussex and Brighton broadband set to receive boost over next three years

BT has agreed a £35.44 million BDUK deal with East Sussex County Council and Brighton and Hove City Council to bring fibre broadband to areas of the county that would not be covered by commercial deployments otherwise.

The e-Sussex project aims to provide 96 percent of homes with up to 24Mbps broadband over the next three years, a vast improvement over the current average downstream speed of 8.4Mbps. It is also believed 11.7 percent of the county receive less than 2Mbps.

The government-led Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative will supply £10.64 million, while BT will stump up £9.8 million and East Sussex County Council £15 million.

East Sussex broadband deal

Brighton MarinaThe council said the new network will give the county an economic boost and improve the lives of its inhabitants.

“It’s absolutely vital this broadband technology is made available to all our residents and small businesses,” said Cllr Keith Glazier, Leader of East Sussex County Council.

“We want everyone in East Sussex to have access to reliable and faster broadband within the next three years and I’m delighted by this announcement as it’s a major step forward in the project.

“With the contract now signed, work on the project can get underway to bring the county up to speed with faster and more reliable broadband. This will give East Sussex the competitive edge it needs to attract new businesses and will empower our communities by providing access to services, jobs, education.”

BT BDUK windfall

Earlier this month, BT agreed a £20m BDUK deal with neighbouring West Sussex to bring superfast broadband to 98 percent of all homes and businesses in the county by spring 2016.

BT has so far won all the money available from BDUK, having previously announced partnerships in a number of areas, including Kent, Durham and Northumberland. It is also likely to win all of the remaining money after the only other bidder, Fujitsu, withdrew from the procurement process earlier this year.

However, BT has recently encountered a more unlikely obstacle during its rollout of fibre. Engineering work to connect residents in the Easingwold area of North Yorkshire to the BT Openreach fibre network has been temporarily suspended after engineers discovered badger setts along the planned route for a cable connecting 450 properties to the local exchange.

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