Broadband News

Kent County Council invite tenders for £44m rural broadband project

Kent County Council have published an invitation to tender for rural broadband with plans to spend £44.3 million over the next 3 years on the project. 6.5 percent of households in Kent live in broadband not-spots and cannot get access to broadband while 40 percent are not able to meet the 2meg universal service commitment (USC) and thus the council are stepping up to ensure that services are improved in the area.

The money will come from various places, with £42 million predicted from Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), the UK body overseeing allocation of central government funds of £530m that has been allocated to improving broadband. £1.5 million will also come from the council's Regeneration Superfast Broadband Pilot and a further £0.8 million from the Community Broadband Grant Programme.

Current plans are for the framework to commence on the 15th of August with plans to review it every 12 months with a possible renewal for a further 3 years at the end of the contract.

Funds will be split out for different access types and bidders can choose to tender for any combination. These include, fibre, other wired, wireless and innovative / emerging submissions. Likely candidates to bid for this will include BT who could use the funds to extend their fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) rollout, as well as the Fujitsu collaboration who are keen to deploy fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) to more of the UK. Winning bidders are likely to be those who can prove their solution is future-proof whilst also value for money.


This is likely to be a hot topic at the NextGen Roadshow - hosted by Kent CC - in Tonbridge on Friday (20th May).

Kent CC and local MP Greg Clark are providing speakers.

The event also includes presentations from Fujitsu and many specialists in Next Generation Access and a lot of inputs from Scandinavia and Netherlands where investment in local access utilities is well-advanced.

Full details and agenda at

  • groupe_intellex
  • over 9 years ago

Just try to explain its pointless just giving the money to BT for VDSL. If your spending that kind of money FTTP is surely the only option.

  • doowles
  • over 9 years ago

How many properties can you cover with the money FTTP vs FTTC doowles?

As it costs much less to enable FTTC your going to hit more households than FTTP with the pot you have available which is what they need to consider.

VFM is key

  • GMAN99
  • over 9 years ago

It would help if BT does flak Kent CC with which cabs will be updated... that would reduce the 40% low speed group.

Because just the 6.5% not spots is ~40,000 households, which just £1000 per connection. Assume that half the 40% won't be improved is another 80,000 properties... so just £300 ish per household. Which is fine for villages, but i'm more concerned about outlying hamlets fed from village cabs.

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

typo... i meant flag... not flak.

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

There are estimated to be 1,411,100 people living within the Kent County Council area as at mid-2009.

What's this:

This scheme will pilot up to 15 demonstration projects in areas of market failure.

  • Somerset
  • over 9 years ago

I used the number of households here (550k) and rounded up to 600k for time passed.

Doesn't sound good, pilot projects eat money...

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

The approach is to fragmented and there is to much risk. They really need to focus on a single solution.

The really is harsh as it may be for remote hamlets etc there is no real viable solution you are looking at about £6K per home passed not really viable

At best you will get low speed broadband to them due to the length of the copper

  • Bob_s2
  • over 9 years ago

What needs testing. We know fibre works, leased lines and the internet backbone uses fibre. We know wireless works, look at vfast. We know FTTC is good for cabinets with short d-sides. Lets just pick a technology and roll it out already.

  • timmay
  • over 9 years ago

As a resident of rural Kent, what I would like is for BT roll out FTTC to the SCPs rather than stopping at the PCPs.

Whether I will ever get this remains to be seen.

  • Michael_Chare
  • over 9 years ago

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