The contract signing machine at BT has been busy again, this time in Staffordshire where the latest BDUK contract has been signed, the headline aim being to extend fibre based broadband coverage from the current commercial levels to 97% of the premises in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent (a total of 472,000 premises). The target of 97% coverage is due to met by Spring 2016.
"Staffordshire led the way in pioneering creative industries, so it is now fitting that the county is spearheading this dynamic partnership that will not only build on the county’s strong traditions but also, through the development of a high-speed communications infrastructure, harness economic growth that will herald a new era of creativity and prosperity for Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire."Bill Murphy, managing director, BT Next Generation Access
With the deployment following the usual mixture of mainly FTTC (partial fibre) and some FTTP (full fibre) there will of course be some in the 97% who will not get super fast speeds, at this time the estimate is that 95% will have access to a connection of 24 Mbps or faster. The other 2% getting something in the region of 2 Mbps to 24 Mbps depending on the distance to the Openreach green street cabinet.
For the 3% of other premises (around 15,000) the project will also work to ensure a connection that meets the Universal Service Commitment of 2 Mbps is available, but the 2 Mbps is seen as the minimum for these areas not the target speed.
The contract has a total value of £27.35 million, with £12.47 million from BT themselves and the remainder split equally between the local authority and the central BDUK funding.
The press release indicates that work will start immediately, but this still means that the first service delivery via the project is probably not going to happen until early in 2014.