BT Agrees £48m Lincolnshire 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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BDUK provides £14.3 million to help bring fibre to 88 percent of all properties in the county

BT and Lincolnshire County Council have signed an agreement to bring superfast broadband to 88 percent of all premises in the county by the end of April 2015.

The £48 million Better Broadband Plan for Lincolnshire will connect almost all residents with minimum speeds of 2Mbps.

The council says that the rollout will benefit businesses and communities across Lincolnshire in what is being described as “the start of an exciting new era” for the region.

Lincolnshire broadband deal

Lincoln Cathedral“The internet is transforming our lives – at home, at work and at school. And thanks to this investment by local councils, BT and national government, everyone will be able to reap the benefits offered by digital technology,” said Councillor Kelly Smith. “This project is going to dramatically improve broadband speeds across the county, bringing a wealth of opportunities for residents and businesses alike.”

The project is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and the sixth largest nationally. The council is providing £11.2 million, district authorities will supply £4 million and BT £18.8 million. The remaining £14.3 million will come from the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative which provides funding for the rollout of fibre in areas where it is not commercially viable.

“It’s fantastic that for the first time, broadband will be available everywhere in Lincolnshire as the result of one of our largest super-fast broadband projects in the country,” said Communications Minister Ed Vaizey. “The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to super-fast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy.”

BT was chosen following a “competitive selection process” and work will begin immediately with the first superfast connections available in January 2014. The company has won all of the funding available under BDUK so far.

It is also a partner of the Superfast Cornwall programme, which yesterday revealed a revised target of providing 95 percent of all properties in the country with access to superfast broadband.

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