Feeds

BT slurps from first govt broadband cash pot in Lancs deal

Fights off absolutely no one

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The first round of the government's public broadband funding has been awarded to Lancashire County Council, after the local authority agreed to a £62.5m project with national telco BT.

It's early days in the bid for BDUK investment, but BT is the only one to have secured such a contract. Many other ISPs have pulled out of bidding for the cash altogether, with only Fujitsu understood to remain in the running for any funds at all. Fujitsu also withdrew from the race for BDUK funds in Wales earlier this year, leaving BT as the sole bidder.

The BDUK pot had stood at £530m, but was topped up by the Chancellor in his Budget statement late last month to £680m to help speed up broadband connections in 20 cities throughout the UK.

The government also hopes to add a further £300m to that cash pile that it plans to take directly from the BBC's TV licence, but that won't happen until the next Parliament in 2015.

BT estimated that the total amount of money that will be invested into broadband rollout for Lancashire County Council would be around the £130m mark.

At present, Ofcom figures suggest that around 15 per cent of homes and businesses in Lancashire receive downstream speeds of less than 2Mbit/s.

BT is flinging £30m at the rollout project, while the local authority will get £10.8m from the BDUK funds.

A further yet-to-be-confirmed £16.5m is expected to be allocated from the European Regional Development Fund and £5.2m will be divvied up from local councils in the area – Lancashire County Council has to cough up £4.7m of that.

The council didn't go through the BDUK national framework to bag the funds, so it is instead required to seek its own state aid approval.

Additionally, the council created a £500,000 community fund to help pipe superfast broadband to more remote homes and businesses in the area. A pilot will kickoff in the east of Lancashire, BT said.

Unsurprisingly, most of the fibre will be fed to the cabinet (FTTC) rather than to the premises (FTTP).

"Fibre to the cabinet will be the prevalent technology deployed under the project. This will deliver download speeds of up to 80Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20Mbps. The average download speed in Lancashire is currently around 7Mbps," said BT.

Some parts of Lancashire will also eventually gain access to broadband speeds of up to 300Mbit/s, the national telco promised. ®

Updated to add

Regarding the Lancashire deal, a BT spokesman got in touch to say: "BT fought off several rival bidders to win these funds and so it was an open competitive process."

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.