Digital Region has issued a press release that confirms earlier press coverage, that changes are to take place with the South Yorkshire super-fast broadband network. The release confirms that current coverage levels mean some 80% of businesses and residents should be able to connect to the network if they so desire.
"Thanks to our current delivery partner Thales, the build phase has been successfully completed to time and cost and whilst the majority of the UK must wait until 2015 to experience superfast broadband, a phenomenal 80% of SY businesses and residents can already connect. DRL is delighted to move forward with the continued support of both the board and the central government and Local Authority Shareholders.
This is a significant and exciting development and is without doubt the best way forward for Digital Region to ensure the significant benefits of the project are delivered and the people of South Yorkshire can continue to benefit. It is our goal to meet and whereever possible, to exceed in delivering the original mandate set out to achieve growth and transformation in the region."David Cowell, Chief Operating Office at DRL
The project is set to embark on a new path that is in line with the current BDUK/government model for super-fast broadband. The commercial model from the BDUK relies upon a mixture of private and public funding, and also places operating costs, marketing and revenue generation firmly in the hands of the private sector.
South Yorkshire will be unique in now looking for a commercial partner, when commercial providers like Virgin Media and Openreach already have their own network in some of the areas that Digital Region covers. Normally BDUK projects are meant to avoid spending any money in areas where commercial roll-out of super-fast broadband was likely. Hopefully this will provide a route for the network to expand towards the 90% goal the government has set, and also ensure the 2 Mbps USC can be met in the region.
We can expect to hear more about the tender application in May 2012, in the meantime the network will continue to operate. We recently added a layer to our mapping project that allows you to easily see the coverage offered by Digital Region.