Multi-million pound partnership brings Superfast Broadband for Nottinghamshire a step nearer


WEBWIRE – Monday, August 12, 2013

£20 million project to extend high speed broadband to 95% of Nottinghamshire homes and businesses by end of March 2016

High speed fibre broadband is on the way for thousands of homes and businesses across Nottinghamshire following the decision by the County Council to award the £20 million contract to BT.

The Superfast Broadband Nottinghamshire project will build on BT’s commercial investment in the county which will deliver fibre broadband to more than 400,000 premises in the county by the end of 2014.

Once the project is complete, high speed broadband of up to 80Mbps will be available to 95% of homes and businesses by the end of March 2016, with a minimum of 2Mbps broadband speeds for all.

It will open up opportunities for more businesses and schools to get online, creating new jobs and fresh e-learning opportunities, boosting the local economy and educational attainment across the county.

Nottinghamshire County Council is investing £2.5 million in the project and successfully won a bid for an additional £2.7 million of European funding to bring high speed broadband to even more businesses. BDUK, the Government’s broadband delivery arm, is contributing £4.5 million to the scheme with a further £800,000 coming from Nottinghamshire Borough and District Councils. In total, 52,000 business premises and homes will benefit from the project.

The contract will be formally signed at County Hall on Monday 12 August and follows an extensive and thorough procurement process. BT has agreed to contribute £9.3 million to the project.

BT will commence work on planning the roll-out of the new high speed cabling immediately, conducting site surveys to identify how to install thousands of kilometres of high speed fibre optic cable across the county. This detailed information will help to shape the roll-out upgrade plan for connecting homes and businesses, which is expected to start in spring next year.

Research has shown that within 15 years, fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 new jobs, 140 new start-up businesses and 1,000 more homeworkers.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I am very proud to be able to bring a fibre broadband service to 95% of the county’s homes and businesses.

“By working with BT and other partners including the district and city councils, we will end the digital divide experienced by many of our rural areas especially in Newark and Sherwood, Bassetlaw and Rushcliffe.

“The County Council has led the project from the start, going the extra mile by securing an additional £2.7 million of European funding to help even more businesses reap the benefits of joining the information superhighway.

“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.

“Our business training workshops are still available for local firms to find out more about the enormous benefits high speed broadband can bring. Over 150 businesses have already attended a session to gain a better understanding of the new opportunities available online.”

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister, said: “Broadband speeds in Nottinghamshire are about to undergo a radical transformation which will see 95 per cent of homes and businesses able to access fibre broadband by March 2016. Around 52,000 homes and businesses in the area stand to benefit, and this project will deliver a tremendous boost to the local economy.”

Bill Murphy, BT’s managing director for Next Generation Access, said: "This is exciting news for everyone who lives and works in Nottinghamshire. Superfast broadband will open the doors to countless business opportunities, boosting the rural economy and supporting thriving local communities.

“Deploying fibre broadband is 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.”

BT was awarded the contract following a procurement exercise through the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) framework. The company is contributing £9.3 million towards fibre deployment in “non-commercial” areas with Nottinghamshire County Council investing £2.5 million plus its £4.5 million share of BDUK funds. The remaining £3.5 million is coming from Nottinghamshire Borough and District Councils and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The ERDF funding will be used to enable fibre connections for many of the 6,000 small and medium sized businesses in Nottinghamshire.

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 Nottinghamshire consumers and businesses will benefit from a highly competitive market. This was an important stipulation in the tender process. Due to the scale and complexity of Nottinghamshire’s geography the first premises are currently expected to be connected in July 2014.

Fibre to the cabinet 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 technology – delivering ultra-fast wholesale speeds of up to 330Mbps - will also be deployed in certain areas and will be available on demand throughout the whole of the fibre footprint.

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 www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/broadband

To book a place on a business workshop about superfast broadband contact the NE Group on 01623 827900 or visit www.superfastnotts.co.uk

Notes to Editors

Photo opportunity
Two photo calls are available:
• 11.45am at County Hall in West Bridgford - official handshake style photograph with Coun Alan Rhodes, Leader of Nottinghamshire County Council and Bill Murphy BT Managing Director for Next Generation Access to celebrate the signing of the Superfast

• 12.15pm at a BT roadside cable cabinet on Hound Road, West Bridgford with Coun Alan Rhodes and Bill Murphy from BT.

Superfast broadband for Nottinghamshire
Led by Nottinghamshire County Council, superfast broadband will change the way Nottinghamshire lives, works, plays and learns by investing £15 million to create a next generation fibre optic cable based broadband network for 98% of homes and businesses.

It opens up huge opportunities to improve the quality of life and leisure prospects for Nottinghamshire families and will open new opportunities through online learning and faster access to information and services. It will provide a huge boost for businesses and the Nottinghamshire economy. Nottinghamshire firms will be able to find and establish new markets (locally, internationally, and globally), increase their competitiveness and create new jobs.

Partners working on the project include Ashfield District Council, Bassetlaw District Council, Broxtowe Borough Council, Gedling Borough Council, Mansfield District Council, Newark and Sherwood District Council, Rushcliffe Borough Council and Nottingham City Council.



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