Another local authority has signed its BDUK contract with BT, which should pave the way for work to start on delivering better broadband to people across the Kent and Medway areas.
The contract is worth some £39.47 million, with BT contributing £19.6 million towards the project which should by the end of 2015 mean 91% of businesses and homes have access to a superfast broadband service. The coverage of fibre based services will be higher at 95%, but some of these due to long distances between the cabinet and premises will have speeds lower than 24 Mbps. For all the properties in the project area they should have access to download speeds of 2 Mbps or faster once the project completes.
"Just as the thousands of miles of rail and roads are essential in bringing the county together, this is an essential network for Kent. I am looking forward to seeing how, by working with BT, we can keep the county connected and competitive for the future.
I would like to thank everyone who got involved in the ‘Make Kent Quicker’ campaign, which was crucial in showing that the county wanted the improvements that are now on their way."Roger Gough, KCC Cabinet member for business strategy, performance and health reform
For those in Kent who are wanting to checker whether they are in the footprint for this project, we have looked around the Kent website but have not found any particularly useful maps like some local authorities have released. There are some simple exchange level maps available here, it is not clear if the ADSL2+ availability refers to 21CN WBC or includes the LLU providers networks too. The State Aid consultation document does give a County level map, but it is a low resolution map on page 22.
We also hope that the people running the council website update their list of Broadband Services Available as it gives the impression that BT Infinity is the only provider selling an up to 76 Mbps service - Virgin Media do get a mention for their cable network.
Update 11:20am We have used our http://maps.thinkbroadband.com and checking various exchange areas where Kent County Council says there are no plans for ADSL2+ we are finding a mixture of O2, Sky, TalkTalk and BT Wholesale WBC ADSL2+ networks available. The maps does give a date of March 2012 in its foot notes, but one would have hoped that as part of the procurement process it would have had much better information on the services available, or what providers were planning.
Update 4pm For once a council that uses its twitter feed, and we have just found out they have updated their service coverage maps to reflect what is available from exchanges across Kent.