BT has won a £14 million contract to provide broadband to homes and businesses in the Greater Manchester area.
The project aims to secure universal provision of basic broadband (above 2Mbps) to all premises and access to superfast broadband (above 30 Mbps) to 90 percent of buildings in the area by June 2015.
The procurement was led by Transport for Greater Manchester on behalf of the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA), which comprises all the 10 councils in the local area.
The contract is a vital part of Greater Manchester’s goal to become one of the world’s ‘top 20 digital cities’ by 2020, according to AGMA.
This project focuses on encouraging local businesses and organisations to use web-based technologies to become more effective, efficient and sustainable. It also supports the growth and development of digital businesses in the area.
The plans for Manchester and Salford include a voucher scheme for business connectivity, wireless in public buildings, wifi on public transport and vouchers for residential connections.
The ‘Greater Manchester Broadband Project’ is funded by a range of sources including the EU’s European Regional Development Fund, the Department for Culture, Media & Sport and its agency Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) and private sector bodies.
A total of five companies, including BT, bid for the deal.
BT has won all BDUK 44 contracts to supply broadband to rural areas in the UK. The government was heavily criticised for allowing an “effectively BT monopoly” over the rollout project by MPs on the Public Accounts Committee in April.