Devon and Somerset likely to announce BT as winner in October
In a newsletter update to those who have registered on the Connecting Devon and Somerset website there are a few nuggets of information. Crucially that BT has been the only supplier to respond to the tender process, and if the wording is correct the suggestion is that Fujitsu not bidding is 'in line with its decision not to respond to any publicly-funded bidding opportunities nationally'.
The Devon and Somerset project has a goal of 25 Mbps or faster for 85% of the area by 2015, and progressing to a 100% target for 2020. The amount of public funds available to meet this stands at £53m currently (£32m from BDUK), and the key now will be how much money can be extracted from BT to invest in the project and improving the ratio of partial fibre (FTTC) to full fibre (FTTP)
Of course there is no point running these projects and building something that no-one apart from a few thousand geeks sign up to, and this has the local authority contracting two suppliers to engage with businesses and the local community. Once the roll-out starts in 2013, residents and businesses should expect to see community events to help people understand the benefits of the project and also help improve digital skills.