Surrey County Council has selected BT to roll-out superfast broadband to 90,000 businesses and homes that are excluded from the incumbent provider’s commercial rollout, in a deal worth some £33 million.
The deal is the latest in a string of successful broadband bids for BT, which will once again put the spotlight on Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the body armed with setting up a competitive process for superfast broadband rollout.
A recent report from the House of Lords Communications Committee questioned BDUK’s success in increasing competition in the broadband marketplace, which has seen a number of ISPs pull out of the bidding process and to date has only seen BT win public funds.
However, Surrey County Council estimates that the contract could add £28 million to the region’s economy annually and will see speeds of up to 80Mbps delivered to nearly 100 percent of businesses and homes by the end of 2014.
“The county council has done a deal that will make Surrey the best connected county in the country,” said Peter Marin, Surrey’s deputy leader.
“This will be a great boost for business, from start-ups in small offices through to multi-nationals. It can be crucial to the continued success of Surrey businesses and a huge attraction to those looking to move in.”
ETDE and Briskona were the other two companies bidding on the contract.
Fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) is going to be the primary technology used, which will provide downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of 20Mbps.
BT will also work with Surrey County Council on ‘next generation broadband solutions’ for the remaining premises that will not be covered by fixed line fibre, although details of what these solutions may be were not provided.
The company will contribute £11.8 million to the project, with £20 million coming from the Council and £1.3 million from BDUK funds.