BT was announced as the winner of the BDUK project contract for Cumbria in September, today has seen Bill Murphy from BT actually signing the contract to deliver superfast broadband to 93% of premises in the county and a service with a minimum speed of 2 Mbps to the other 7% on the edge of Ullswater in the Lake District.
"Although we’re still awaiting the final green light from Government, signing this contract is a clear message that Cumbria is ready for action. We are really pleased with the significant investment that is going into superfast broadband infrastructure in Cumbria, which includes funding streams from both the public and private sectors.
We’re all desperately eager to roll our sleeves up and begin the task of actually delivering superfast broadband to people who simply would not have got it without the intervention of the government and county council. We have a tremendously exciting three years ahead of us, but I would ask people to be patient and allow us to deliver this huge programme in a strategic way which is in the best interests of the county as a whole. The hard work starts now and we need to work together so that by the end of 2015 Cumbria has one of the best fibre networks in Europe."Cllr Elizabeth Mallinson, Cumbria County Council’s Cabinet member with lead responsibility for Connecting Cumbria
BT will be adding £15m to the project fund, with £17.1m coming from the central BDUK fund, £13.7 million from the European Regional Development Fund, £5m from councils in Cumbria adding up to a total of £51m. Additional funding will be used to run take-up stimulation activities.
The majority of the roll-out will be the partial fibre FTTC services, which offer up to 80 Mbps downloads, with actual connection speed depending on the distance to the cabinet. There will be some pure FTTP areas (which offers various speed/price points, where the fastest service currently is 330 Mbps), and the press releases for the signing remind people that fibre on demand will become an option in 2013, though with the pricing it will likely appeal more to businesses.
The next step is the planning phase to determine the order of roll-out, and as such those in Cumbria waiting for the services to arrive should keep an eye on the Connecting Cumbria website.