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Norfolk and Suffolk projects a step closer to delivering a connection
Sunday 01 July 2012 12:31:23 by Andrew Ferguson

While the precise funding mechanism for BDUK arose from the current Government, it was the previous Labour Government that set the ball rolling, and a degree of cross party support for improved broadband helped the agenda get going. The local authority projects in Norfolk and Suffolk are now edging closer to picking a telecommunications partner from the remaining two that are in the race.

The news though is not really that Norfolk and Suffolk will see tenders submitted by the end of August and a contract awarded in the Autumn, but that it appears only BT and Fujitsu have been selected as part of the 'national framework' by the BDUK/Department for Culture Media and Sport. Alas the news has to come third hand via a regional newspaper, as the BDUK website is showing May 2012 as its latest news, drilling down to the Google Maps reveals more recent updates.

The question really is whether Fujitsu is going to submit tenders for most local authority projects, or will BT be left as the only horse in the race. This is as much an indictment of the BDUK process, as the state of investment in UK infrastructure by private investors. The UK has probably the most vibrant retail broadband market in the world, but scratching the surface reveals the pretty shop front is a veneer, with investors looking only to exploit existing assets, rather than investing in the long term future.


Posted by GMAN99 over 4 years ago
What?! So tendering was open to all (but subject to criteria such as wholesale and proven turnover etc) and now they've just nailed all that shut and said its BT or Fuji only? And that's not just Norfolk and Suffolk its everywhere?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 4 years ago
As far as I am aware, the two firms were the only two in the running in any part of the UK.

The need to match fund has pretty much stopped any other entrants.
Posted by Saurus over 4 years ago
If only the Government had any interest in investing as much in the BB infrastructure as they have in spying on and controlling its own people and sending money(we havent got) to the IMF
Posted by Somerset over 4 years ago
Devon & Somerset started:
Posted by DawsonBB over 4 years ago
Hmm. I live in Norfolk with a blistering ADSL speed of 0.312Mbps downstream despite being only 1.8km from the exchange (long story, even longer line 6.8km).

I get the distinct impression that this might just be BT garnering additional funding via a route that sidesteps EU competition legislation. I'm not confident of receiving anything like 2Mbps much before 2020 let alone 2015.
Posted by Bob_s2 over 4 years ago
The problem we have in the UK is the Broadband roll out is fragmented and piecemeal and there is no UK wide strategy. We are futher handicaped by an effective BT monopoly in much of the UK and what is being rolled out is 95% legacy technology so we will still be playing catchup in 5 years time.
Posted by KevG123 over 4 years ago
I'm in deepest darkest Norfolk too. For me, the best outcome would be for BT to win the bid and just use the money to FTTC upgrade the rural exchanges they were not going to bother with originally. Just need the council to pull their finger out and award the contract zzzzzzzzzzzzz
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