BT has signed off yet another superfast broadband contract, this time with Nottinghamshire Council, worth just under £20m.
The deal is just the latest in a long line of contracts BT has won under the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework, which has been heavily criticised by politicians for failing to generate competition and lacking pricing and rollout transparency.
The latest deal is formed of funding from a variety of sources. BT is putting up £9.3m while the County Council has stumped up £2.5m. BDUK funding is £4.5m and European funding is £2.7m. A further £800,000 is coming from district councils.
In total a further 52,000 remote homes and businesses will be hooked to the firm’s network, on top of the 400,000 locations already set to come online as part of BT’s commercial rollout in the UK.
Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said securing the funding was a vital step forward for the county’s prosperity.
“Businesses, schools and families will all benefit from the significant economic, educational and leisure advantages that high-speed broadband brings to everyone, with higher online speeds for video, shopping and file sharing,” he said.
The European funding of £2.7m in particular will be used to help ensure around 6,000 businesses are added to the network, and Rhodes urged local firms to embrace the benefits fibre can bring.
“Our business training workshops are still available for local firms to find out more about the enormous benefits high-speed broadband can bring,” he said.
“Over 150 businesses have already attended a session to gain a better understanding of the new opportunities available online.”
The update to the area comes after Ofcom revealed the average UK broadband speed is now 14.7Mbps, rising steadily over the years, although the average upload speed is still just 1.8Mbps.
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