Better Broadband Plan for Lincolnshire Revealed


WEBWIRE – Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Businesses and communities across Lincolnshire are set to benefit from fast, affordable fibre broadband as Lincolnshire County Council and BT today revealed the details of the planned roll-out of super-fast broadband across the county.

The council has signed a contract with BT to build on the existing telecoms infrastructure in the county so that at least 88% of all premises should have access to super-fast broadband by April 2016, with the council aiming for everyone else to have access to at least 2Mbps broadband. For the first time ever, broadband should be available everywhere in Lincolnshire.

The deal is the largest of its kind in the East Midlands and sixth largest nationally.

Councillor Kelly Smith, Executive Member for Finance and HR, said: “The internet is transforming our lives – at home, at work and at school. And thanks to this investment by local councils, BT and national government, everyone will be able to reap the benefits offered by digital technology. This project is going to dramatically improve broadband speeds across the county, bringing a wealth of opportunities for residents and businesses alike. This is the start of an exciting new era for our county.”

Bill Murphy, Managing Director, Next Generation Access, BT added: “This is great news for Lincolnshire. We’re already seeing the positive impact that faster, fibre broadband is having on businesses and residents in the county and now, thanks to this partnership, the benefits will be felt much wider, helping boost the local economy.”

Communications Minister Ed Vaizey said: “It’s fantastic that for the first time, broadband will be available everywhere in Lincolnshire as the result of one of our largest super-fast broadband projects in the country. The UK already does more business online than any other European country, and widespread access to super-fast broadband will provide a tremendous boost to Lincolnshire’s local economy.”

Initial information on what’s planned can be found online at www.onlincolnshire.org although please be aware these details may change. Alternatively, residents can contact the council’s customer service centre on 01522 782066.

The project, which is part of the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme, will see over £48m of public and private sector money invested in improving the county’s broadband infrastructure. The cash includes £11.2m from the county council, £4m from the district authorities, £14.3m from national government and £18.8m from BT.

BT was chosen following a competitive selection process. Work on the project will start imminently with the first super-fast connections expected to be available in January 2014. The roll-out will begin with a period of planning and detailed surveying, before Openreach, BT’s local network business, starts work on the ground.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Fibre broadband refers to services delivered using Next Generation Access technologies.

Super-fast broadband refers to speeds of 24Mbps and above. That’s over two and a half times quicker than the current UK average of 9Mbps.

The contract with BT concentrates on an intervention area of over 150,000 premises where existing or planned commercial roll-outs would not deliver super-fast speeds. This will mean that at least 94% of all premises should have access to fibre broadband by April 2016.

BT’s network will be open to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis enabling customers across Lincolnshire to benefit from a highly competitive market, bringing greater choice and affordable prices. The fibre-based network will allow businesses to introduce many new services and applications. Big business applications driven by cloud services and data centres will now be within the reach of firms of all sizes. Computer back-up, storage and processing will be faster, and the use of high quality videoconferencing by firms and their customers will be possible, which can also help to reduce transport demand.

The new technology will also transform the way people use the internet in the home – enabling them to run multiple bandwidth-hungry applications at the same time, speeding up the simple sharing of pictures and video and enjoying the growing boom in entertainment services available online.

Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) will be the main technology deployed. This delivers wholesale downstream speeds of up to 80Mbps and upstream speeds of up to 20Mbps. Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) technology - delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps - will also be deployed in certain areas and will start to become available on demand, from Spring 2013, throughout the whole of the fibre footprint. These are the top wholesale speeds available from Openreach to all service providers; speeds offered by service providers may vary.

Openreach will levy an installation charge for the FTTP on demand service and it will be up to service providers to then decide whether they pass that onto businesses or consumers wishing to take advantage of the service.



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