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Digital Region Project may seek commercial operator to rescue it
Friday 30 March 2012 13:56:13 by Andrew Ferguson

The Digital Region Project that was launched at a time when super-fast broadband from Openreach and Virgin Media was still some way off, appears to be getting another round of money from the public purse.

The Yorkshire Post is reporting that some £10m of public money will be added to the £100m already received. The Barnsley Chronicle indicates that Barnsley alone will be adding £650,000 to the project.

The project original launched with a major holding by Yorkshire Forward which was the regional development agency for the area, but with the closure of these the UK Government owns that part of the project.

It would appear that the councils are looking to procure a supplier who will takeover operations and manage the Digital Region network, which has been constructed by Thales using sub loop unbundling to link Digital Region cabinets into the Openreach local loop.

Providers such as has done its best to promote the service, complete with local billboards that if placed outside a home gives the subscriber a £25 credit onto their account.

Under the funding allocations by BDUK, the original awards announced in 2011, gave nothing to South Yorkshire as the assumption was that the Digital Region network would provide the super-fast target, and also be able to meet the 2 Mbps Universal Service Commitment. There are now some tough questions to be asked about why the project has got into the position it is, many people viewing the project from outside will say that the initial roll-out was too slow in starting, and by going to areas that had BT rolling out its own fibre service, the take-up for an unknown service was always going to be low. Another issue will be whether the commerical co-operation from Openreach with regards to the sub-loop unbundling has contributed to the current situation.


Posted by LeJimster over 5 years ago
This is part of the reason why I haven't joined Digital Region yet. Being an ex-Bulldog customer I know what happens when a network is sold. In that case the quality and support when to crap. I keep hoping somebody like o2/be will acquire the network however and then I wouldn't have to switch providers as I'm currently happy with the service they give me.
Posted by alexatkinuk over 5 years ago

But by waiting to see what happens you become part of the problem, condemning the project to fail. Digital Region needs people to join.

What have you got to lose? If someone else takes over the network and changes how it operates it would invalidate your contact anyway so you could move elsewhere.
Posted by LeJimster over 5 years ago
Well, I did say it was part of the reason. I don't have the income to justify the setup fee and higher price of Fibre right now.

I was also waiting to see if their is an price changes when the 80Mb package came out. I know what you're saying. But I've done the early adopting thing before and tbh I'm not risking going from a stable reliable cheap *unmetered* connection to something that might be an absolute disaster.
Posted by littlebigone over 5 years ago
As one of the ISPs, we would be happy to help anyone who would like to take advantage of the Digital Region network, or indeed discuss any fears people may have.

As @alexatkinuk points out, the network is there any ready for people to use it.

We are an experienced ISP, we been in business for 11 years and we have full confidence in Digital Region.

@leJimster you may want to register your interest on our website today, as we will be making some announcements in the next few days. These include special offers which just may help your concerns about set-up fees ;-)

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