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Surrey council seeks fibre tenders for final fifth

The Tory county council is looking for bidders to supply super-fast broadband to the 20 percent of Surrey that will not be covered by BT's fibre rollout
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Surrey County Council is inviting bids to make sure all its residents have access to fibre-based super-fast broadband by 2013, as it says BT's fibre drive will not cover one-fifth of the county.

The successful bidder will be able to roll out and sell fibre to 20 percent of Surrey, mostly in rural areas, the council said on Friday. The Tory council is also looking for a company to provide super-fast broadband for its public-sector organisations.

"Fast and reliable internet access is vital for business and is central to our daily lives," county council leader Andrew Povey said in a statement. "Everyone should have access to this essential tool, and we are committed to making sure that those in rural areas and other parts of Surrey where service is patchy are not left behind."

The council expects both contracts to be finalised by May 2012.

BT is in the process of rolling out fibre access to two-thirds of the country, at a total cost of around £2.5bn. In May, the government handed out the first of its grants designed to help areas not on BT's list — again, mostly in rural regions — keep up with the shift to faster connectivity.

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