Broadband for all in Cambridgeshire to cost up to £100m
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough are forging ahead with their plans for 2 Mbps for all by 2015 with superfast broadband available to some 90% of the properties and businesses in the areas covered by the County Council and City Council.
Computing.co.uk has spotted a Ted (tenders electronic daily) in the supplement to the Official Journal of the European Union. This tender document reveals that the local authority is looking for either a company willing to invest some of its money, or a consortium of suppliers. The size of this investment will not be insignificant either, some £6.75m is coming from the BDUK, another £23m from Cambridgeshire County Council and Peterborough City Council. The overall value of the contract over its lifetime is estimated to be £70m to £100m, meaning that private sector investment from the winner of the tender will be some £40m to £70m. Though some funding from the EU may reduce the amount needed.
The councils in this case appear to be define superfast broadband as 30 Mbps and faster and the talk of a consortium bodes well, as smaller wireless providers may be able to work with a larger provider to provide better coverage in the most rural areas, for example to provide a service that gets close to meeting the superfast definition even in that hardest to reach last ten percent of properties.