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£50m of funding from BDUK available for local authorities
Friday 04 March 2011 16:40:17 by John Hunt

The chancellor has today committed £50m of funding from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the body set up to help arrange investment into broadband, from the £530m which the government intends to spend over the next four years. This money will be available to local authorities who apply for to help improve broadband in their area.

"Broadband is crucial for the country's economic future; that's why the coalition government is investing over half a billion pounds in its infrastructure.

We want to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015 and today's £50m will benefit up to 800,000 homes and businesses. This is very much a locally-driven process and we encourage bids from all local people with plans for improving broadband in their local area."

George Osborne, Chancellor

Earlier this week Kent County Council committed £1.5m of grants to aid super-fast broadband projects in their region and Durham County Council advised that they would be applying for £2m of funding from BDUK to help fill in the gaps where broadband coverage is currently poor in their area.

The £530m of funding in this parliament is largely coming from the digital switch-over underspend (£300m) and also from the TV license fee (£230m). The government intends to use this to help the final-third achieve next-generation broadband that the private sector would be unlikely to reach. By allowing funding to be delivered through local authorities, it will help these areas pin-point the best use of money for their region rather than relying on BDUK to decide nationally which are worthy.

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Delivering funding through local authorities also runs the risk they decide to have a single project covering a large area, reducing the number of eligible bidders to about one.

Kent seem to have a better approach, with Wales at the other end of the spectrum with a single "national" scheme.
Posted by F022Y over 6 years ago
I wonder if there is anyway to influence a local authorities dicision on this?
Posted by Btcc22 over 6 years ago
^Sit on the council.
Posted by redrum217uk over 6 years ago
lobby MP's and councillors is how I normally influence an LA
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
The original idea of the BDUK was to operate as an agregattor and negotiate better deals, i.e. more broadband per £.

It looks like it is now just some expensive admin staff handing out money every few months now.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
Cumbria effectively appears to rule out FTTH on the basis of value for money
http://www.cumbria.gov.uk/broadband/update.asp
Posted by ccxo over 6 years ago
Well if all the BDUK money can be used to help push FTTC across most of the country and use wirless for the most remote places.
Then look to push FTTH in areas that want it, as up to 40 meg is more then enough for most households .
Posted by kijoma over 6 years ago
so... local authorities can now hand this money over to BT to squander inappropriately. The local authority here has a proven record of "BT or nothing" so it will be interesting to see if they apply for money and use it wisely instead.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Why would they be squandering it, based on... what?

And other tenders are welcome to bid, if there are any, that's the whole point. Its the LA decides BT that is their decision
Posted by kijoma over 6 years ago
one example. a village exchange would cost 40k+ to upgrade for a basic ADSL service. the local auth are trying to get this money to do just this. Even though the village and all the areas covered by the exchange have the fastest broadband in that part of the county and have had for 6 years via Fixed wireless. It would be money squandered.
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@kijoma

Fast broadband is nice but you need the usage allowance to back it up, that's where landline comes in.
Posted by ian72 over 6 years ago
@kijoma So if BT were the only supplier in an exchange and not providing wholesale would you say that is fine and therefore there is no reason to try to get anyone else into the exchange? You seem to be happy with a monopoly as long as you are running it? Perhaps the people in the area would like more choice than a single provider with prices that aren't always competitive?
Posted by BB4FABS over 6 years ago
Can anyone tell me if the areas that form the so-called 'final-third' have been formally defined? Most commentators seem to assume it includes just rural areas but I live in a suburban area that suffers from notspots slowspots and in a recent press release BT classified it as being in the 'final third'.
Posted by BB4FABS over 6 years ago
If this money is directed at 'final third' areas, local authorities need to be told by BT, Virgin etc. which areas are considered to be "commercially unviable". Without this information, the government could end up gifting money to upgrade broadband in areas that would have (eventually) been upgraded without the injection of public funds.
Posted by fastman over 6 years ago
BBF4FABS what is ypour exchange ?
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