Rutland County Council signs broadband contract with BT
Rutland County Council, which covers a mere 17,000 homes and businesses, has signed a £3 million contract with BT, to deliver fast, affordable fibre broadband to 90% of Rutland by the end of 2013.
It was known that Rutland was going to sign with BT back in March, but now the final public contract signing has taken place at Oakham Castle more detail on the roll-out plans have been published.
Openreach is to deploy its FTTC solution which is available as a wholesale service, this currently offers a maximum of 80 Mbps downstream and 20 Mbps upstream. The actual speed received is governed by the distance between a property and the cabinet. The roll-out will not stop at the 90% figure, as it appears Rutland County Council has access to additional funding that should let them push coverage to a level of 97%. The remaining 500 or so properties will see their connection speeds uplifted to 2 Mbps or faster, by the end of 2013.
The funding gap that the newspapers and tech press got worried about is being addressed with BT adding £800,000 to the project. Rutland County Council are contributing £2.2 million of which £710,000 was from the BDUK fund.
While FTTC is seen by some as old-fashioned and out of date, given the funding everyone wants to spend full fibre is not feasible. Where people are willing to pay the additional costs (you will need to live in an area with FTTC) once FTTP on Demand from Openreach is released, they will be able to get a full fibre connection installed to a property in 2013. While the cost is not fixed estimates of £500 to £1500 abound, and there may be options to spread the payments over the term of a contract. Rutland Telecom connected Hambleton in Rutland with a full fibre service in 2011, with a £50 monthly fee (25GB usage allowance) and £1000+ setup costs.