Feeds

BT wins contract for rural broadband

Happy days for Fradley, Rudyard, Yockleton, Burwarton etc

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Some of the UK's most remote areas should be able to tap in to broadband by next summer after BT was awarded a public sector contract to wire up 45 areas in the Midlands and the South West of England. The UK's dominant fixed line telco beat off competition from eight other suppliers including Cable & Wireless (C&W) and Claranet to win the contract.

Exactly how much of tax payers' money is being used to pay BT to upgrade its own exchanges for broadband has yet to be released, but at least four development agencies are known to have put their hands in their pocket to fund the project.

Those behind the deal claim it is "unique" because three English regions - East Midlands, West Midlands and the South West - joined together under a single organisation, West Midlands Networking Company (WMNC), to award the contract.

The areas - which include villages in Derbyshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Wiltshire and the Scilly Isles - are regarded as not commercially viable for broadband without some form of hand-out.

The project also needed the thumbs-up from the European Commission to ensure it met rules governing state aid. The Commission decided that the project could go ahead because the public money "was not likely to cause undue distortion of competition within the Single Market and was therefore compatible with EC Treaty state aid rules".

Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes accepted that the "rural nature and geographical remoteness of the concerned areas make them an unattractive goal for investment by broadband service providers" and that the "aims at correcting this digital divide by awarding grants to service providers selected through public tenders".

A full list of exchanges covered by this project can be found at Thepowerofbroadband. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.