Digital Durham was previously targeting 94% coverage at superfast broadband speeds, and it would appear that the last minute application for RCBF funding (28th February 2014) has paid off with £1 million of funding before the fund has to close. This extra funding means that the project that covers County Durham, Gateshead Council, Sunderland City Council, and the five Tees Valley Councils is now aiming at 96% coverage at superfast speeds (in excess of 24 Mbps), 98% connected to a fibre based NGA solution and the remaining 2% at a minimum of 2 Mbps.
As ISPreview noted this additional 2% equates to some 3,500 properties and the application was specifically with respect to Teesdale and Weardale areas and thus people who previously were expecting to be totally missed out might get to benefit.
The extra £1 million going to BT (once they produce the invoices) will displease lots of campaigners who would rather the funding go to community based alt-nets, but with the pressure on councils to avoid risk it is of little surprise they are using a well known (even if disliked by some) commercial operator.
The Digital Durham appears to be doing things a little different to some other councils, as they are announcing exactly which cabinets are live once they are ready to accept orders and the deployment plan does give names of the areas in each phase, thus those in Eastgate and Fencehouses know that some 10,765 premises are contracted to be connected to a fibre based service but they are in phase 8 which is due for January 2016 to March 2016.
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