89 per cent of North and North East Lincs to have access to fibre broadband by the end of Spring 2015
North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire Councils have joined forces with BT in a £5.7 million pound deal to roll-out high-speed fibre broadband to 89 per cent of homes and businesses across the two counties.
The Northern Lincs Broadband Programme will build on BT’s commercial investment of £2.5 billion to roll fibre broadband out to two-thirds of UK premises by the end of Spring 2014. This investment has already brought fibre broadband to Brigg and Scunthorpe with Grimsby, Scartho, Healing and Barton on Humber set to follow by the end of Spring 2014.
BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The company is contributing £1.51 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas.
A further £2.64 million is Government funding from BDUK with the remaining £1.557 million coming from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) . The ERDF funding will be used to enable fibre connections for small and medium sized businesses across the two counties.
The investment in fibre broadband will boost the local economy and help to create or protect local jobs. It will be of particular benefit to local businesses which can use the faster speeds to improve their competitiveness both within the UK and abroad.
BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis and so consumers and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market. This was an important stipulation in the tender process. More than 80 service providers across the UK are currently trialling or offering fibre broadband over BT’s network.
A North Lincolnshire Council spokesperson, said: “This is an important step in the campaign to bring faster broadband speeds to every home, business and school in North and North East Lincs. Working with BT we will be announcing the installation schedule in the coming months and communities across the county can look forward to improved access to online services and better connectivity for businesses from 2014 onwards.”
Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, added: "This is exciting news for everyone who lives and works in North and North East Lincolnshire. Superfast broadband will open the doors to countless business opportunities, boosting the rural economy and supporting thriving local communities.
“This is a large rural area which makes deploying broadband a substantial challenge but a vital one which will help local businesses to be competitive and ensure they remain in the county. It can also play an important role in attracting more firms to the county, helping to create jobs for local people.”
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed which delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. However from Spring 2013, Openreach has started to make fibre to the premises (FTTP) available “on demand” in FTTC enabled areas delivering speeds of up to 330Mbps .
For local businesses, the fibre network will underpin the introduction of many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by cloud services and data centres will be within the reach of enterprises of all sizes. Computer back up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high quality videoconferencing within firms and between them and their customers will become a viable possibility.
Consumers will be able to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time and send and receive large amounts of data much more quickly and efficiently. New fibre services are also set to transform the way consumers use the internet, from the simple sharing of pictures and video to enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available on-line.
For up to date information on the project and roll-out please visit http://www.northlincs.gov.uk/business/northern-lincs-broadband-project/