BT Signs £13.8m Hampshire BDUK Deal For Fibre Broadband

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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BT wins more government funding for rural broadband

BT has won yet more BDUK funding, agreeing a £13.8 million deal with Hampshire County Council (HCC) to ensure that 90 percent of all premises will have access to superfast broadband by the end of 2015.

Nine out of ten premises across Hampshire will have access to fibre, with the remainder having speeds of at least 2Mbps.

HCC says that without its intervention, 20 percent of homes and businesses would not have been able to access fibre broadband services. The council, along with its district and borough partners, is providing £5 million, a figure matched by BDUK, with BT supplying the remaining £3.8 million.

Hampshire BDUK funding

Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower © Stella Ridley“This is a great day for Hampshire and it marks the culmination of many months of hard work,” said Councillor Ken Thornber, leader of Hampshire County Council. “I am very pleased that BT can now start work on putting in the necessary infrastructure that will benefit so many businesses and households, predominantly located in the less populated and ‘harder to reach’ areas of Hampshire.”

The first communities to benefit from the programme will have access to faster Internet before the end of the year. One of the first areas will be the Solent Enterprise Zone based at Daedalus in Lee-on-the-Solent, one of 24 such zones set up nationally to support local economic and employment growth.

Thornber said that the rollout of fibre in the county was crucial to the ongoing economic prosperity of the region and has encouraged more households and businesses to join the 19,000 who have already registered their support for the Hampshire Broadband Programme.

“Putting in this network infrastructure is as important as other major transport infrastructures like roads, rail, and airports. This exciting development will ensure that Hampshire continues to be a great place to live, work and thrive,” he said. “It will allow Hampshire residents and businesses to transform the way they live, work and communicate benefiting from new social and economic opportunities as well as reducing the costs of public services.”

BT has won all of the BDUK funding available so far and is likely to win all of the remaining money up for grabs after Fujitsu withdrew from the procurement process last week. It recently announced two new partnerships in Kent and Northamptonshire.

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