Surrey signs with BT to become 'best-connected' UK county

Surrey signs with BT to become 'best-connected' UK county

Summary: The £33m deal will see almost every business and home in the county given access to high-speed broadband by the end of 2013.

TOPICS: Broadband, Fiber, BT

BT is to hook up Surrey businesses and communities with high-speed broadband access, in a £33m deal with Surrey County Council.

According to BT and the council, the project will make Surrey the "best-connected county in the UK", with almost all businesses and homes given access to up-to-80Mbps connectivity by the end of 2014. £20m of the cash will come from the council, £1.3m from the government's Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund and £11.8m from BT itself.

"This will be a great boost for business, from start-ups in small offices through to multi-nationals," the council's deputy leader, Peter Martin, said in a statement. "It can be crucial to the continued success of Surrey businesses and a huge attraction to those looking to move in."

In a figure estimated on the basis of World Bank research, Martin said the deal could boost the Surrey economy by £28m a year.

The deal was needed because, while BT is rolling out super-fast broadband on a purely commercial basis to two-thirds of the country, that deployment misses certain, less profitable locations.

In Surrey's case, more than 90,000 businesses and homes would have missed out without the arrangement announced on Wednesday. Other ISPs will be able to offer services over BT's wholesaled network.

Most of the rollout will be based on fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology, hence the speeds of up to 80Mbps. BT will also be deploying its fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) services for those who stump up an installation fee, for which they will get up to 330Mbps.

According to the regulator Ofcom, the average UK broadband speed is 9Mbps — in Surrey, it's 7.4Mbps.

Topics: Broadband, Fiber, BT

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • another one bites the dust.

    When will these counties realise that they can't all be the fastest county in the country? The marketing hype is out of control. Each county says it has the worst broadband in the country, each county hands the money over to the company responsible for them having the worst broadband in the country, and then puts press releases out saying they are going to be the fastest in the country... its all getting very silly.
    • It is a laugh, but...

      consider yourself lucky. The 1m residents of surrey will have access to high speed broadband for around £33 ($50) each by 2014. Here in Oz our government's bill will be well over $2000 per citizen and take over a decade.

      Enough to make you cry.
      Richard Flude