Durham is one of the latest BDUK projects to announce it is entering its State Aid consultation phase, this is after completing the Open Market Review which should have identified where operators are providing or not providing service and what their plans are for the next three years.
While this phase as far as the public is concerned is just more paperwork and administration rather than service delivery, the Durham project does offer something a little different in the form of a postcode checker which in theory will give you a guide to your basic broadband and superfast broadband coverage:
We checked the site using the postcode DL13 4HE which is in Tow Law and where current ADSL services appear able to provide speeds around 3 Mbps to 6 Mbps. This told us for basic broadband that there is one operator, but for superfast services there are no plans, and thus should see something delivered by the project in the future.
Residents and businesses are encouraged to check their own postcode and provide feedback on the classification given, this will be important if for example the council thinks your postcode has a basic broadband service already but you actually connect at slower than 2 Mbps currently.
The blanket state aid approval from the EU for the projects relying on the BDUK team is currently expected to be announced in November 2012.