The BDUK process in Nottinghamshire is running slower than we are sure those in the slower areas of the county would like, and a double edged bit of news has emerged. Back in December 2012 the County Council in its broadband plan outlined it was expecting £867,000 to be made available via the European Regional Development fund, the good news is that the ERDF is actually going to contribute £2.7m taking the amount of public money to improve broadband across the county to £10.5m.
The bad news is that to incorporate the terms for the ERDF funding into the tender process the process is to be delayed by eight weeks. Reponses from the Invitation to Tender are not expected until the end of July, with the the contract signing happening sometime in Autumn 2013.
The irony is that there can only be one response from BT, as they are the sole remaining bidder in the BDUK process. The plan as outlined last year, was based on winning some £8.5m of funding from the private sector (BT) if the project was to meet a 90% superfast coverage goal.
How far the extra money from ERDF will allow the county to push superfast coverage is a big unknown, and probably won't truly be known until the contract has completed, which if this is in 2015 will be a very tough timeline, if the contract is only awarded in Autumn 2013.