Broadband cash lands in Lancashire's coffers

Broadband cash lands in Lancashire's coffers

Summary: Lancashire's broadband infrastructure is set to receive a £62.5m boost after BT revealed that it is working with Lancashire County Council on improving fibre services.

TOPICS: Mobility

Lancashire's broadband infrastructure is set to receive a £62.5m boost after BT revealed that it is working with Lancashire County Council on improving fibre services.

BT said the project will deliver fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology to 97 percent of premises in Lancashire by the end of 2014. Just over 17 percent of the cash will be the first funds to be released under the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

"The people of Lancashire will be the first to benefit from funding provided by the Government through Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) after Lancashire County Council (LCC) agreed a £62.5 million project with BT," the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The project will transform the broadband landscape across the county by extending access to fibre broadband to 97 per cent of premises," BT added.

BT said it will contribute £30m towards the total fund, with an additional £10.8 million coming from BDUK, £16.5m from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £5.2m from local councils.

Once complete, residents and businesses will be able to sign up to BT's fibre-based Infinity service for services with a download speed of up to 80Mbps and an upload speed of up to 20Mbps, BT said. Currently, the average speed in Lancashire is 7Mbps, the company added.

The project comes in addition to BT's commercial fibre rollout which aims to bring super-fast broadband to two-thirds of the country by the end of 2014.

"The LCC project will extend the company's fibre network so it covers the vast majority of areas in Lancashire that are not viable to supply on a commercial basis alone," BT said.

BT also said that its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) technology — which will deliver download speeds of up to 300Mbps — will be deployed in "certain areas" and that it will be available, primarily to businesses, on-demand throughout its fibre footprint in the area.

Topic: Mobility

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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  • This is really good news that Lancashire has been the first to jump through all the hoops and get a plan. What remains to be seen is that FTTC can deliver to 97%. We will all be watching. There are many rural areas and long line lengths in urban ones where 'superfast' will be very difficult to achieve, but good luck to all those attempting to bring ubiquitous connectivity to this fair county. It would be great to see the plan and to be kept informed. It would also be good to know where the final 3% are, so that measures can be taken to give them a decent service. As Peter Cochrane says, the 2megabit USC is not a right lot of use these days, and a poor preparation for the future needs of the rural people who are the lifeblood of the county. Agriculture and tourism and regeneration of uplands should be a very high priority in Lancashire, and a good comms infrastructure is vital.