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Broadband roll-out to be extended?

Posted onPosted on 6th Jan

New Nottinghamshire County Council proposals could see thousands of extra homes and businesses get access to faster broadband.

The Council and BT are six months into the delivery phase of contract one of the £20m Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire (BBfN) programme, which will see access to fibre broadband made available to nearly 95% of the homes and businesses in the county by March 2016.

Now new £5m plans to extend the roll-out further, which would boost faster broadband availability up to 97% of properties countywide, are to be considered by the County Council’s Policy Committee on 7th January.

BBfN contract two (Superfast Extension Programme) would tap into an offer of £2.63m in Government and £2.63m in D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Growth Deal funding to deliver the scheme.

When contract one is completed in March 2016, it’s projected that district-by-district superfast broadband availability will be:

•Ashfield – 97.2% coverage (54,167 homes and businesses)
•Bassetlaw – 88.1% coverage (46,556 homes and businesses)
•Broxtowe – 97.6% coverage (50,367 homes and businesses)
•Gedling – 98.4% coverage (52,320 homes and businesses)
•Mansfield – 97.7% coverage (49,077 homes and businesses)
•Newark and Sherwood – 88.8% coverage (48,358 homes and businesses)
•Rushcliffe – 92.1% coverage (45.527 homes and businesses)

BBfN contract two would particularly target more rural areas in the districts of Bassetlaw, Newark and Sherwood and Rushcliffe – where availability after contract one is not as high as elsewhere in the county.

Coun Diana Meale, chairman of the Economic Development Committee, said: “Good availability of broadband for homes and businesses is a top priority for the County Council. Living and working in one of the best connected counties in the country has numerous benefits for local residents, economic growth and job creation.

“By the end of contract two, our aim would be to have a minimum 95% coverage in every district in Nottinghamshire, with an average of 97% of homes and businesses countywide being able to access fibre broadband.

“We’ve made fantastic progress on contract one so far, with around 25,000 homes and businesses now able to access fibre-broadband because of the Better Broadband for Nottinghamshire programme. The feedback we have received from residents and companies who have signed up to new services in the areas covered so far has been brilliant – people are telling us what a difference it has made to the way they communicate, learn, have fun and do business.

“Our ultimate aim is for every home and business to have good broadband availability. Contract two is another important and significant step towards that ultimate goal.”

A tendering exercise for contract two is already underway, with potential delivery partners required to submit bids by 5 February.

The Council’s Policy Committee is being asked to give delegated authority to the Corporate Director of Policy Planning and Corporate Services (in consultation with the Leader of the Council and Chair of Economic Development) to negotiate and enter into a contract with a delivery partner by the end of March 2015.

Subject to agreement and sign-off, contract two would be completed by 2018.

To find out about broadband availability, go to