Surrey County Council invites bids for 100% superfast broadband contract
Surrey County Council have committed to deploying 100% super-fast broadband to the county as it announces a tendering process. The council previously announced their aim for 100% broadband coverage whilst it undertook a survey of its 84 local councils to find broadband not-spots. BT is currently undertaking work to put in faster broadband mainly through fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) technology which is expected to reach around 80% of the region. The final 20% will need help from the local council to ensure that they can gain access to faster speeds also.
"Fast and reliable internet access is vital for business and is central to our daily lives. Everyone should have access to this essential tool and we are committed to making sure that those in rural areas and other parts of Surrey where service is patchy are not left behind.
Poor broadband coverage and slow speeds hold back local businesses and put rural communities at a disadvantage. Unless we step in up to 20% of Surrey won’t feel the huge benefits of high-speed broadband in the near future."Dr Andrew Porvey, (Leader) Surrey County Council
The contract is expected to be finalised by May 2012 and the council should then be on target to deliver the faster services by 2013. It will be interesting to see who actually bids for the contract. It could work out that subsidising further FTTC deployments of BT actually works out more economical than paying other companies to deploy new networks, but a range of technologies could be used, including wireless which is often seen as a cheaper solution to fixed-line broadband.